NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Police Department held their fifth annual Bike Rodeo on June 17 at Department of Public Safety parking lot on Chestnut Street. Residents were able to register their bicycles with the police department so they can be identified in the event a bicycle is stolen. Captain America (Officer Steve Rogers) paid the children a visit.

Despite the drizzle, according to Sandra Carella, assistant to the Commissioner Alphonse Petracco, approximately 100 children showed up on Saturday morning.

Children received free helmets and two bicycles were raffled off to two lucky kids. Police officers made sure new and old helmets were the right size for each child. Officers taught children bicycle safety tips including a demonstration of how to ride a bicycle safely. Plastic cones were set up for children to ride through an obstacle course. The Nutley Fire Department handed out free hot dogs.

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Amanda Besterci, 7, was having fun riding her bicycle around the obstacle course. “Its good experience, I learned how to do a figure eight,” she said.

Jessica Li was with her son Charlie, 6, a first grader at Washington School. “We come here every year. It’s good for the community and the police officers love them.”

“Police Chief Thomas J. Strumolo Jr. was in charge of the mornings events. Even though the weather was so cloudy, we had so many kids. It is important for the police and fire departments to interact with kids,” said Commissioner Petracco. “It’s a good time to hang with the kids,” added Strumolo.  

The Police Department is also in charge of LEAD - Law Enforcement Against Drugs, a program for sixth graders and Junior Police Academy for children in fifth through eighth grades. Other community events include Public Safety Open House, Child ID Day and Trunk or Treat in October.