Thursday, July 30, 2015

Chief John Burke


     At the Bogota Borough Council meeting on 16 -July Bogota Police Chief announced to the Council of his request to retire affected at the end of his duty day on Friday 31- July. This was approved by council later at the same meeting. Chief Burke is a 27 year veteran of the Bogota Police Dept and has served as Chief for the last 5 years. At this time no replacement has been recommended.
   Recently Bogota Blog NJ submitted question to Chief Burke the following is a statement from Chief Burke.

   A brief bio of Chief Burke:

       I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish in 27 years in service for my hometown.  My father brought my family here from the Bronx, NY in 1968 to provide for a better life for my brothers and I.  I can only say Mission Accomplished Dad.  I only hope  I've been able to return to the borough what it has provided for me and my family. Albeit my decision to retire is bittersweet, as  I truly had some more gas in the tank but with the borough being strapped with economic challenges the decision to retire would address some of those short term economic challenges and address some of my own personal challenges.

I have been blessed on this journey.  I am still in search of what I really want to be when I grow up.  In that search one thing that I have learned in my years in Bogota is that the greatest resource that Bogota has is its’ people.  I have been privileged to meet so many people on this journey and who I am today I have taken a small part of each of those people.  Again, I only hope that others may have learned as much from me as I have learned from them.  THANK YOU to each of you.

 His thoughts of the Officers under his command.

I would be remiss if I did not thank two very special groups of people.  To “my guys”, the officers in blue, dispatchers and Patricia Morrone, without you I never would have been able to be a Chief.  It has been an honor and privilege to serve you and work alongside of you.  As your Chief I couldn't be prouder of each of you and you made it easy to be Chief.  I only wish I could have done more for you.  As I have always said we are a small family and you lived up to that, took care of business and served and protected as if every person you came in contact with was a family member.  Yes I will still check in in pre-dawn hours.  To my family at home, Trish, Jenna and John Jr., you have truly lived this career and lifestyle with me every second of every day for the last 27 years.  I cannot begin to think how I can repay you for that commitment and sacrifice.  You have truly been an AWESOME SUPPORT TEAM and I will work every day after retirement to give you what you have given me in my ability to serve others.

On his retirement 

My life after BPD will include continuing to support and work for the various charities I have been involved with over the years, possibly consider several employment opportunities that have come my way,  but most of all I am going to spend time with my family, do a whole lot of cycling, get healthy, and enjoy whatever life has to offer. 

 His opinion of the Bogota Police Emergency Service Youth Academy which began under his tenure as Chief.  

      Youth Academy Comment:  I am very proud of what Sergeant Lynch and his staff have been able to provide to the youth and families of our community over the last 5 years and this year.  The strength of our community has always been the people that make it up and what they are willing to do to pay it forward.  The youth academy is not just about the week of the academy but about the take aways that can be built on each day, week, month and year following the experience.  It involves not only the youth academy recruit but the family, friends and community services working together to further the youth academy mission, objectives and standards.  I congratulate each recruit for successfully completing the academy but also their families and friends who support the recruits and the program.   Five years ago I could not imagine the impact of the program and that we could not only sustain the program but continually improve the program…that is a testament to Sgt. Lynch, his staff and all involved.  I could not be prouder of the Graduating Class but of the entire Bogota Community.  This is their success.

Chief Burke also graciously answers some question from Bogota Blog NJ 

1) Why did you become a  Police Officer. 

     I became a police officer as I knew I was meant to be there to help others.  Following in my father’s footsteps as a law enforcement officer made it a fairly easy adjustment as I was used to the lifestyle.  Again, there is no greater satisfaction than being able to help and protect others.

2) What did your Parents, and other Family members think of your decision

        The decision to retire actually came with mixed feelings.  My entire family wanted me home and knew it was not easy for me to give up what I enjoyed doing but after 27 years of being “all in” for others it was time to be “all in” for my family.  I am confident that the officers I leave behind can carry on and continue what I started.

3) What was the hardest thing for you as  a) Being a Patrol Officer  & b) Being Chief 
      The difficult thing about being a patrol officer was the time away from family and other functions that the general public gets to enjoy.  Missed Holidays, Birthdays and events is part of the job and I took the job knowing that but reality is some of those events only happen once and you either miss it or you're half awake and not completely yourself when attending.  You fight your body’s natural and routine tendencies to be there and you pay the price physically and mentally for it.  As Chief you are always on call so although the work clock changes you probably work more hours under a different kind of stress.

4) What are you most proud of as Chief ( apart  from the Academy) 

      In my 5 years as Chief some of my proud accomplishments include: I have hired about 50% of the current officers working.  The fine officers that came to the Bogota Police Department were being sought by other agencies that had a bit more to offer growth and economically and yet they came to Bogota.  I am proud to say that protect and serve as if this was the hometown that they grew up in.  They give unselfishly of themselves to various charities and some of the endeavors that the police department engages in without seeking compensation.  I couldn't ask for more from them.  The other accomplishments include establishing a clear Written Directive System, having 4 straight years of better than 50% reduction in overtime, proposing Rules & Regulations and a New Police Department Ordinance, instituting a new records management system which can be universally used with other emergency services in the borough, instituting e-ticketing for more efficient processing of summonses, implementing new digital mobile car cameras, new portable radios and upgrading our service weapons.  I am also proud to have been able to provide more training for my officers with minimal or no additional costs in overtime partly through the use of online training.
   My most memorable moments were experienced through the charitable endeavors I've been able to participate in as Chief.  They include the most recent Chief for a Day Program with Kyle Burrell, Riding For Those Who Died in the Police Unity Tour, working with Military Veterans Children through the Bergen County Police Chiefs Foundation at Pony Power Therapies, assisting with NJ Special Olympics, assisting local families in need at Christmas, working with Rebuilding Together to renovate our local VFW facilities.

5) Is there anything you wish to accomplish that didn't happen. 

    I had hoped to expand the roster by three officers as recommended by the merger study the borough participated in when I first became chief.  That would have allowed for, as recommended in the merger study, that we update our written policies and procedures either through accreditation and/or through a firm which will assist you in doing so.  Even with grant monies available the borough has not moved forward 
 on those initiatives which would provide for reduced liability and reduced insurance costs.

6) Who was your biggest influences, and is there any person(s) that you used as an example on how you tried to do your duty.

My biggest influence was my father.  He instilled in me early in life a good work ethic, to take responsibility for yourself and your actions and don't make excuses.  There are no shortcuts in life and To Always Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty is what was learned from my father.  My father also showed compassion as he would always extend himself to others in need and I learned that from him too.  In addition to my father I have taken a little bit from all those that I have met along the way to make me who I am today.  I am not perfect but who is but I will work every day at it. 
And one final statement from Chief Burke;

   I wish the best for the Borough of Bogota, my hometown.  I wish the best for the officers and staff that I have been privileged to work alongside of.  It was truly an honor.


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Week End Events

30- July-2015

    Some events happening in and around Bogota for the weekend starting Thursday 30-July.

Thursday-30 -July 
Teaneck, NJ

     The Township of Teaneck  host a Farmers Market from June until October. This will take place every Thursday until October. It will run for 12:00 noon to 6:00p. It is located in the Municipal Parking Lot at Beverly Rd & Garrison St. This will feature local and community farmers selling: 
 -Variety of farm fresh fruits and vegetables. along with 
 -   Plants, flowers, herbs, pickles, olives, freshly baked goods, gourmet prepared foods, honey jams, cheese, meats, poultry, seafood, gourmet nuts & dried fruits
  WIC and Senior FMNP vouchers accepted by some farmers
   For more information please contact Margaret Aaker at 201-907-0493
                               (it is asked that while attending this event you  inform them that you saw it on Bogota Blog NJ)

Friday -31- July  & 
Saturday-1- August 
Ridgefield Park, NJ
      Bergen Shakespeare will present their Shakespeare in the  Park 2015 series with a production of " The Comedy of Errors" in the Amphitheatre in Overpeck Park. Admission is free and it is suggested that anyone wishing to attend bring their own chairs or blanket. curtain time is scheduled to be at 8:00p
   The Amphitheatre is located inn the Ridgefield Park section of Overpeck Park located at the end of Challenger Rd. Ridgefield Park, NJ
   For more information, or how to obtain a reserve space please visit their  website at:


           (it is asked that while attending this event you  inform them that you saw it on Bogota Blog NJ)

Saturday-1- August 

    Bogota Beautiful is hosting Saturday morning Yoga classes. These will be  starting on Saturday 11-July and will continue through August. Classes will go from 9:00a to 10:00a  They will be held in Olsen Park in Bogota. These classes are open to anyone regardless of age, or  experience.  The classes will meet at the Bandshell in Olsen Park depending on the number of attendees classes may be held in the bandshell or on the lawn in front of the bandshell. Everyone you wishes to attend is required to provide their own mat, towels, and water. Comfortable clothing that will allowed  free and ease of movement  should be worn. This is free to the public, however it is asked to contact  Bogota Beautiful at there website: to make a resveration for as many dates as you wish.  Please also visit the same website for more information or to donate to:

(it is asked that while attending this event you  inform them that you saw it on Bogota Blog NJ)

Saturday-1- August 

    The Bogota Public library  will have their first fitness session starting at 10:30a to 11:30a. This will incorporate a number of different techniques  from the "Team Beachbody® Fit Clubs". This will be a free event to anyone 18 years or older. All fitness levels are welcomes. Anyone who attends must bring their own Yoga mat, towel, and water bottle. Comfortable exercise clothes are recommended. All parictaptes must register with the Library at: for more information and to sign the waiver form for the Library   Signed waiver form (click here)
   This will continue every Saturday through August.

(it is asked that while attending this event you  inform them that you saw it on Bogota Blog NJ)


Saturday-1- August 
   The Parents for Bogota Football in cooperation with New Horizon Financial  is hosting their annual Adult Swim. This will be held at the Bogota Swim Club pool starting at 8:00p to 1:00a. Tickets are $20 per person. This is an Adults only event anyone attending must be age 21-years or older with proper id required.   There will be live music, games, and food available. This is also a BYOB event but it is asked that any beverage be in a NON-GLASS container.
   For tickets and other information please contact Karen Rodgers at 201-233-9397 or Pat Rochford at 201-489-1991. 
   The Bogota Swim Club pool is located at 2 Feller Pl. Bogota, NJ

               (it is asked that while attending this event you  inform them that you saw it on Bogota Blog NJ)

Monday -3-Aug.

       The weekly " Meet the Mayor"  event will take place in the office of Mayor Chris Keleman  This is open to any Bogota resident who would to ask the Mayor a question about  Bogota, or to discuss any matter to help improve the quality of life in the Borough. Anyone who wishes just to have an informal conversation with the Mayor is also welcome to attend. Meetings will be held on a first come basis. This will run from 5:00p to 7:00p in the Mayor's office. His office is on in Bogota Borough Hall located at 375 Larch Ave. Bogota, NJ.
  Bogota Borough  Hall is located at 375 Larch Ave. in Bogota, NJ.

(it is asked that while attending this event you  inform them that you saw it on Bogota Blog NJ)

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Class 05 Dis..missed

 29- July-2015

     On Tuesday 28-July the  Bogota Police Emergency Services Youth Academy held their  graduation ceremonies for Class 05. This was held at the Gymnasium of Steen school in front of Family and Friends of the 57 Cadets who attended this Summers youth academy. This was the largest class in the five years of   the  Bogota Police Emergency Services Youth Academy.  This also mark the final graduation for Bogota Police John Burke.  Chief Burke will be retiring in August  and was responsible for the forming of the Youth Academy. He envision a program taht would help the Students of the Borough would have a chance to get a sampling of what it would be like to be apart of one of the various  Emergency Service of Bogota. He talked of how pleased and proud of what the Academy has become and is waiting for the day that Graduated Cadets join one of these services. Chief Burke took a personal moment to honour photographer Ed Rode for supplying photos for the Academy, but also chronicling life around Bogota with his photos.
   Next Director Sgt Lynch  thanked Chief Burke for his support of the program and wished him well on his retirement.  Sgt Lynch then introduced the members of his staff of Instructors who have trained and molded the Cadets starting with Class 01 to today. He also acknowledged the members of the intern program who acted as the support system to help with the running of the Academy. Most of the intern are Academy graduates, which Sgt Lynch says is one of the strengths of the Academy, that Academy Alumni return to help future Classes succeed.
  Coordinator  Anna Ferris was next to speak.  "Miss Anna" to the Cadets openly admitted that she is the one member the staff without a Military background and would not promise she could stay stoic while talking about her Children. She started off by introducing Mayor Keleman and other members of Borough Council, along with Capt Sepp of the Police, Chief Brophy of the Fire Dept and Chief Cordero of the First Aid Squad. She then thanked  those who had proved specialised training class for the Cadets.  Then it was time for the Cadets to receive their Certificate of Completion personally from Sgt Lynch.
   Next came some Squad and group awards followed by the main awards. The first was the Performance Award. This is given to the Cadet who had performed on a higher level than other Cadet in a variety of different exercises. This year winner was Ivelisse Vargas.  The next award is new with Class 05 is the Director's Award given the Cadet who overcame obstacles while being a Cadet at the Academy. The first time winner was Jaylan Abuzid. While his twin Brother Joshua was a Graduate of Class 04, Jaylan wanted his chance to be apart of the Academy. This was complicated by a physical handicap to Jaylan.  Sgt. Lynch and Miss Anna formulated a plan to make this possible. The plan was to bring  Jaylan on as a Cadet for Class 05. While some activities  were modified Cadet Abuzid still performed as another Cadet. This included jumping off the High Board at the water rescue training, white water rafting for survival training, and being in the sand, water, and hosed down on " Black Friday" Sgt Lynch would use the term  "special needs" to describe what Cadet Abuzid did for the Academy. Because  Cadet Abuzid helped move the Academy to a new level.  Then  there was special  ceremony  as for the fourth time a Cadet had graduated from their third, and maximum, Class.  Cadet # 17 Elana Lane  had her number retired joining the three previous numbers; # 18 Garcia  # 33 McDonell & #35 Pulido . Cadet Lane was presented with a frame copy of her jersey by Graduate Garcia & Miss Anna.
   Finally the award for Honor Graduate was announced.Starting with Co- second runner ups of Rebecca Sanz & Andrew Sepp. First runner up was Carmen Cruz with the Class 05 Honor Graduate announced, by the first  four Honor Graduates, is Jordan Lavalle. After Cadet Lavalle accepted her award with her parents by her side, she returned to the stage so that Instrutor Perez could give the anticipated order of  CLASS 05....DISMISSED!
  With that the Cadet proceeded off the stage to watch a short film by Rey Sanchez about their time as member of Class 05, then went on to join their Family to celebrate.

 A pre-graduation march through Bogota

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Fire Dept. Day

      On Monday 27-July The Bogota Police Emergency Service Youth Academy duty day consisted of  fire safety training. Cadets were marched down Main st to the W.Broad St. Firehouse to learn about some basic Fire procedures. A " Smoke House" was brought in from the Hackensack Fire Dept. to give the Cadets a real time look into what would happen with a fire in an enclosed space. Cadet were how smoke fills a room and why it is important to get as low as possible in order to safely leave a smoke filled room.
   Cadets were shown, then do, the way to ascend the aerial ladder on Hook & Ladder Truck Co. #1 vehicle. Cadets climb their way to the top of Police headquarters to experience being on the ladder when it is deployed.  From the most modern of equipment the Cadets then learn some of the first firefighter techniques by forming a bucket brigade  from the street to a rooftop near the station.
   The Cadets then returned to their Squads to a Fire fighter version of a tug of war.  In this two opposing Squads face each other with hoses. There goal was to move a barrel suspended, on a cable, to the other side.  The barrel could only be moved by using the water from their hoses. Squad leader were placed in charge to direct their members to aim the hose for victory.

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