The association began in 1984. What follows are highlights from its history over the last three and a half decades.
May 9, 1984
The Police Traffic Officers Association of Bergen County (PTOABC) holds its first meeting at the Paramus Borough Hall and elects its first board of officers.
Guest Speaker Chief Anthony Parenti, Fanwood PD, President of NJ Police Traffic Officers Association. Lt Bob Herb of the Bergen County PD appointed as first chairman of the Traffic Safety Committee.
Chief Jack Sprengel of the Oradell PD appointed to chair committee to explore traffic safety grants.
Our first seminar held at George's Restaurant in Moonachie. The topic was the traffic officer's role in fatal crash investigation. Members of the NTSB, NJ Transit, NJSP and Bergen County Prosecutor's Office gave presentations.
Bergen County Prosecutor Larry McClure makes a presentation regarding fatal accident investigations and enforcement of hazardous wast transportation.
Bill Mucinski of NJDOT is the first engineer to speak at our meetings.
Fatal Accident Team concept discussed and endorsed by the membership. Discussions also begin regarding truck safety enforcement.
Sgt. Mike Rizzo of the East Rutherford PD appointed chairman of traffic equipment problems. A Railroad Safety committee chaired by Lt. Dick Pearson of the Harrington Park PD was also started.
Ptl Joe Cofone of the Lyndhurst PD elected as our second President. Sgt. Frank Mikulski of the Hillsdale PD was elected Vice-President. The rest of the Board remained the same. The first annual Chief's meeting was held, which was the precusor to the Sprengel Awards.
Bergen County Division of Engineering sends Ernie Boulding as its first representative to the PTOABC.
Our first radar tuning fork certification meeting is held.
State Assemblyman Pat Schuber is our guest speaker.
The Hit and Run Auto Body Shop Manual program is initiated. Ptl Greg Donatello of the Woodcliff Lake PD is chairman of the committee to maintain and update the manual.
Ptl. Joe Cofone is re-elected as President as is Sgt Frank Mikulski as Vice President. Also re-elected is Secretary Sgt Ron Billetz of the Hasbrouck Heights PD. Ptl. Barry Cox of the Fair Lawn PD is elected Treasurer and Ptl. Don Osenbruck of the Franklin Lakes PD is elected Financial Secretary.
NJ Attorney General Cary Edwards is our guest speaker.
Truck Enforcement Grant starts with kicks off at the Meadowlands.
State Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano is our guest speaker.
William McDowell, first Bergen County Executive is our guest speaker.
First meeting at our new location, The Elks Club in Ridgefield Park.
The Association hosts the retirement dinner for Paul St. Mauro.
Guest Speaker is Sen. Bob Dole, presidential candidate.
The first pocket Title 39 is published by North Jersey AAA. Sgt Jim Gaul of Oakland PD is first PTOABC representative on the committee to put together the pocket edition.
The first Chief Jack Sprengel Award ceremony is held. It's namesake is the first receipient.
"Operation Domino" (violation of the month) is started.
The first Bergen County DWI Taskforce blanket patrol takes place with over 200 officers participating. Red and white magnetic signs are displayed on police cars participating in the task force.
The Sharing the Road with Trucks campaign kickoff at the Meadowlands.
Chief Robert Herndon of Allendale PD is elected President. Other officers elected are Sgt. Bill Cicchetti of Washington Twsp PD as Vice- President, Sgt Bob Klingen of Midland Park as Secretary, Lt. Ben Fox of Wyckoff PD as Treasurer, Sgt. Don Osenbruck of Franklin Lakes PD as Financial Secretary, and Sgt. Tim Mc Williams of Saddle River PD as Sergeant-at-Arms.
World Cup Traffic Safety Committee formed. Sgt. Vinny Di Rienzo of the Bergen County PD is PTOABC representative.
"Operation Thanksgiving" conducted. Drivers using seatbelts are given gifts.
Chief Herndon steps down as President as he is appointed Vice-President of the NJ Chief's Association. Chief Michael McGahn of the Moonachie PD is elected President.
The first Paul St. Mauro Award is presented to its namesake.
A committee chaired by Sgt. Vinny DeRienzo of the Bergen County PD lead to the publication of the first-ever County Wide Traffic Incident Management Manual.
Chief Mike McGahn re-elected as President. Other officers elected are Sgt. Bill Cicchetti of Washington Twsp PD as Vice- President, Sgt Bob Klingen of Midland Park as Secretary, Lt. Ben Fox of Wyckoff PD as Treasurer, Ptl. Pete Leighton of the Hillsdale PD as Financial Secretary, and Sgt. Tim Mc Williams of Saddle River PD as Sergeant-at-Arms.
The Hit and Run Auto Body/Repair Shop manual becomes a database.
Pedestrian Safety Task Force Committee formed.
The Countywide Corridor Coalition Enforcement Task Force is formed.
The "Little Red Driving Hood" program presented.
Chief William Cicchetti of the Washington Twsp PD is elected President. Other elected officers are: Sgt. Bob Klingen of the Midland Park PD as Vice-President, Capt. Ben Fox of the Wyckoff PD as Treasurer, Ptl. Brendan Reilly of the Leonia PD as Secretary, Ptl. Pete Leighton of the Hillsdale PD as Financial Secretary and Sgt Mike McGuire of the Moonachie PD as Sergeant-at-Arms.
The Tri-County Aggressive Dirver Enforcement Detail is conducted along with Passaic and Essex County Traffic Officers.
Sgt. Bob Klingen steps down as Vice President, Sgt. Vinny DeRienzo of the Bergen County PD is appointed to fill the office.
The PTOABC is part of the concerted effort that includes Hackensack University Medical Center that results in the Anti-DWI video "Stone Cold", which is geared toward high school students.
Sgt Phil McEntee of the Ridgefield Park PD chairs a committee that along with NJ Transit inaugrates a Bus Safety Poster Campaign that is directed at commuter safety at bus stops.
PTOABC senior driving safety film "Autumn".
PTOABC conducts Universal Safety Day which is highlighted by a child passenger safety seat inspection.
PTOABC spearheads the production of the video " Universal Safety Squad" which is a safe crossing and seat belt usage program geared toward elementary school students.
Chief Bill Cicchetti is elected as the President of the NJ Police Traffic Officer's Association. He is only the second person in the history of the organization to hold the office.
Lt. Vinny De Rienzo is elected as the association's sixth President. Also elected are Ptl. Tim Franco of the Fair Lawn PD as Vice-President, Sgt. Ken Brown of the Wyckoff PD as Secretary, Capt. Ben Fox of the Wyckoff PD as Treasurer, F/Sgt. Gregg Hackbarth of the Washington Twsp as Financial Secretary, and Sgt Kevin Wehrle as Sergeant-at- Arms.
Pedestrian Safety program conducted.
Our Website is established.
PTOABC active in the establishment of the Graduated Driver's License program.
The Child Passenger Seat Technician Refresher Course established.
PTOABC celebrates its twenty fifth anniversary. The event is attended by current and past members along with members of the Sprengel and St. Mauro families.
The PTOABC Facebook Page is established.
Lieutenant De Rienzo retires from the Bergen County Sheriff's Office and steps down as the President of the Association. Detective Sergeant Chris Kelley is named the next President of the PTOABC.
The PTOABC launched the new website, ptoabergencounty.org .