‘Fatal accident’ staged as lesson for mentoring program

A day before the Queen City Mentoring Academy would graduate its new class of cadets, the Plainfield Police Department staged a distracted-driver accident.

As the program’s five charter buses drove towards Hubbard Middle School, sirens were blaring and a single officer was darting to the scene of a “wrecked” vehicle, quickly assessing the “accident.”

An unmarked police vehicle sped towards the scene, then came local EMS workers, screeching down the street from both directions. Plainfield Fire Department Truck 3 was next to arrive.

The workers cut away at the “demolished” car that “struck” a large tree just outside of the local school. First responders removed two bloodied passengers, taking the victims away on stretchers as the children watched in awe. One of the passengers was “killed” at the scene. Some of the Queen City kids were moved to tears by the shocking event, which is designed to teach the cadets about the dangers of distracted driving.

This year marks the fourth annual Plainfield Police Department’s Queen City Mentoring Academy, a summer day camp for children entering the 5th through 8th grades. The three-week mentorship program started in the summer of 2014, and is designed to educate its participants about county government, the judiciary, emergency services and law enforcement.

This year’s program includes 60 cadets, and 15 junior mentors — program alumni who help facilitate the camp.

Read the entire NJ.com article here. Originally published on July 29, 2017.

Photos by Patti Sapone for NJ Advance Media and NJ.com.

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