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Police Offer a Multilingual Take on Halloween Safety at Street Fair

The Policemen's Benevolent Association Local 67 will hold down a booth at the River Road Street Fair on Sunday, where they'll distribute safety tip sheets, coloring books and candy.

This year, keeping in mind the borough's diverse population, the Fair Lawn Policemen's Benevolent Association Local 67 has put a little polyglot twist on the customary Halloween safety sheets the group distributes at the River Road Street Fair.

For the first time, the PBA's Halloween Safety Tips trifold has been translated into four languages — English, Spanish, Russian and Hebrew — so it can reach each of Fair Lawn's most prominent demographic groups. Universal Dialect in Teaneck provided the translations.

In addition to the safety tips sheets, kids who stop by the PBA's booth on Sunday will receive a Halloween-themed coloring book and have the opportunity to get fingerprinted for an I.D. kit.

The PBA, Fair Lawn Police Auxiliary and Knights of Columbus have teamed up on the children's I.D. kit, which the PBA is asking parents to fill out for their children and store at home in a safe place in the occasion their child should go missing.

Along with fingerprints, which the child can have done at the street fair Sunday, the I.D. kit lets parents attach a photo, a DNA sample, dental and medical records and a list of friends, favorite places, foods and habits, among other things.

PBA president Michael O'Brien said Fair Lawn's Explorers, a group of 14-to-21-year-olds who are interested in a career in law enforcement and assist the police department, will do the prints, if the child's parents permit. He said he'd like to expand use of the children's I.D. kit throughout the school system so more local kids are on record.

O'Brien, who will man the PBA's booth with a number of other officers on Sunday, encouraged kids to stop by with their families, noting that with the D.A.R.E. program and Citizens Police Academy on hiatus, the street fair is now one of the few times residents have the opportunity to casually interact with police officers and see them as "real" people.

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Keith Brown October 16, 2012 at 04:17 PM
English, Spanish, Russian and Hebrew ..........are you kidding me? This is America, we speak English!!!!!
johnnyBravo October 16, 2012 at 06:10 PM
How about Italian, German, Polish?
johnnyBravo October 16, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Does Mr Obrien speak in tongues?
LENNY October 16, 2012 at 08:01 PM
years ago people came to this country and did not speak english. they did not go to school to learn english or did we have to pay for special classes for kids to learn english. they did it on their own worked hard and helped to make our country great. today people come to our great country not with the same work habits as the older groups in the 1920 and on. this new group wants you to do for them . take without giving .why as an example should anyone learn their languages. you came to my country america which many here have worked served in the service and may have had family go to war not to return. and we have to learn your lanuage. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE.
* October 16, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I find it quite commendable on the part of the PBA to extend itself to the evolving community. Conversely, it is disturbing to see that this is borm from a Union and there is silence from the Department 's upper echelon. Unfortunately, it appears our community is served according to cost and not care ( by those in charge) Strike another credit for the workimg stiffs..im this case the PBA
BellairBerdan October 16, 2012 at 08:16 PM
That isn't true. There has been a history of bilingual education, both public and private, in the America since colonial times. This is a leaflet to keep children safe at Halloween. Why harbor anger for a 7 +/- year old child new to the country that doesn't speak fluent English?
JG October 16, 2012 at 08:45 PM
I firmly believe people new to the country should try there best to learn english as quickly as possible. however when it comes to childrens its best to get the word out however possible. some may only be in this country a few months or less and you cant fault them for not knowing the language once.
Kevin Biggs October 17, 2012 at 12:21 AM
It's about educating our children and working with our police and teachers to best protect our community no matter what language we speak. Kudos to our cops!
Robert Rosensweig October 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Once again, the Fair Lawn PBA volunteering time, money and energy, to get out a very important message to the community. Against all odds, with all the cuts this council has done to all the programs in town, along with the poor history this council and past councils have shown to its officers, and the PBA still does the right thing. Thank You PBA local #67 for all you do, thank you to each and every officer who makes Fair Lawn safe!
publius October 18, 2012 at 01:11 AM
For the record, the police department provides Halloween Safety presentations to grades K-5 at all of the town grade schools. As part of that program, trick or treat bags, educational material and glow sticks are provided to the students free of charge. This program and service has been provided to the schools since 1999.
Jenne October 18, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Actually, years ago when immigrants worked in the factories important signage was made up in as many as 17 languages (there's an example from a factory LAVATORY preserved from the Lowell factories in Massachussets) because the bosses wanted to be sure people knew the rules. A little investigation of the history and primary sources of the immigrant experience shows that while some people who came to the US as adults mastered the language, others worked themselves into their graves with only broken English. (Heck, for the first hundred years of the country, Newark had a huge population that spoke ONLY German, and made the English-only folk of that time nuts.) Programs for learning english were set up in immigrant-heavy areas by the Settlement movement, way before 1920. German-only and German/English schools in PA and NJ date to pre-colonial times. Furthermore, families-- including children-- are still LEGALLY immigrating into the United States from other countries every day. So, even if someone came fresh off the plane from the Dominican Republic-- or Georgia-- yesterday, it would be helpful for them and their children to be able to read material about safety, nu?
Jenne October 18, 2012 at 01:58 AM
While Fair Lawn has a huge population of Italian-Americans, most of them are older immigrants, according to the statistics. Hebrew and Russian speaking immigrants are still arriving and make up a smaller but significant population in Fair Lawn.
Stuart Pace October 18, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Jenne, if you know any Italian Americans that want to join the Cosmos Club, let us know. We are always looking for new members

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