Target Cancels Stuff-a-Cruiser Event, Donates Funds
Bethel Police Department announced they were going to be holding a Stuff-a-Cruiser event this Saturday, which was posted on Wednesday on Bethel Buzz News. They were working with Target in Bethel to host the event to make it easy for shoppers to donate to Bethel’s needy families. After publishing the article Tuesday, the corporate offices said they could not hold the event due to their “no solicitation” policy. Target instead has decided to make a donation to the police department and has issued the following press release:
“Target partners year-round with local law enforcement across the country, including the Bethel Police Department, and annually evaluate how we can best partner to make a positive impact in the community.
This year, Target is providing a $1,000 grant to the “Stuff a Cruiser” event to enable the police department to purchase gifts for area children. Prior to this weekend’s shopping event, additional donations will also be accepted at the Bethel Police Department.
Target is focused on creating a great shopping experience for our guests, which includes providing them with a distraction-free shopping environment. Therefore, we prohibit solicitation at our stores regardless of the cause or issue being represented. We continue to educate our stores across the country to ensure they have a thorough understanding of Target’s policies.
Target donates 5 percent of our profits to communities—more than $4 million per week—and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours each year to non-profit organizations across the country and continuously evaluate our partnerships to ensure they are supporting the community.”
Molly Snyder, Communications Manager, Target
Officer Bruckenthal is in the process of finding a new location for the Stuff-a-Cruiser event. Bethel Buzz will post it as soon as it is confirmed.
Bethel Police, Fire & Ambulance Respond to 2-car Accident Wednesday Morning
Bethel Police, Bethel Fire Department’s Rescue 1 and Bethel Ambulance responded to 2-car accident Wednesday morning in front of the Bethel Police Department on Plumtrees Road at approximately 7:40 a.m. Traffic was tied up along Plumtrees while police directed motorists around the scene of the accident. A woman was carried away on a stretcher in a neck brace. Road conditions were slightly slippery this morning.
Bethel Police are at various locations today doing safety checks, thanks to a a federal grant from the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Local Police will be conducting seatbelt checks and cell phone enforcement. All local departments are working together to increase awareness of the importance of wearing seat belts. The seat belt checks the police are doing are part of the National “Click it or Ticket” campaign. During the campaign, instead of warnings, officers will issue tickets to motorists who are not wearing seat belts.
Local police will be doing checks tomorrow in Brookfield and Friday in Ridgefield, according to Bethel Police Chief Bruckenthal.
Det. Corporal Ralph DeLuca Retires From Bethel P.D.
After over 3 decades of service to the Bethel community and our children, Det. Ralph DeLuca is hanging up his hat, so to speak. This Friday, Sept. 23 will be DeLuca’s last day on the job in Bethel after 31 years of service.
DeLuca was sworn into office at the Bethel Police Department on March 3, 1980. Originally from Bridgeport, DeLuca moved to Newtown at the age of 11 and to Bethel in when he was 16. He said his love of “all things having to do with the military and uniforms” began as a young child.
“Growing up as a kid in the 60′s I saw a lot on the news about hippies, Woodstock, Vietnam war protests and the proliferation of drugs. I thought ‘someone has to do something to make things better.,” DeLuca said.
He has spent the last 3 decades as a youth officer and D.A.R.E. instructor attempting to do just that. At the age of 14, DeLuca joined the Newtown Police Explorer Post and from there “never looked back.”
In college int he late 70′s DeLuca attended college at Moravian in Bethlehem, PA and worked part-time as an officer for the Town of Sherman. Beginning his position for the Bethel Police Department as a patrol officer, DeLuca was approached by then Chief John Basile for D.A.R.E. training.
“I was a little unsure at first if I wanted to do it but I figured I would try it and it turned out to be the one thing that has defined my career for the last 26 years as a youth officer,” he said, smiling.
The Police Commission and Chef Jeffrey Finch and the police Commission decided to cut the program last year, even after an 11-year-old girl, Lauren Messert collected over 600 signatures to save the program.
While the cut was heartbreaking for DeLuca to see, he said on Tuesday: “It’s time for me to start a new chapter in my life and I think this chapter is going to be a good one.”
DeLuca has helped countless school children over the last 3 decades to learn about making the right choices and to stay away from drugs and alcohol. Some of them, now adults, have come to visit him, bringing along their own children. Some have followed in his footsteps, choosing to pursue law enforcement as a career themselves.
“The thing with prevention is that many times you don’t know what you’ve prevented. Sometimes you get so close with the families you end up adopting them. Other times, despite your best efforts, things don’t work out,” he said.
DeLuca was eligible to retire 6 years ago but said he could not walk away from the D.A.R.E. program. After it was cut, he said, he had to rethink his retirement plans. After taking one week off to get things in order, it’s back to work for Det. DeLuca at his new position as School Safety Officer for Trumbull High School. He said he looks forward to the change and starting a new chapter in his life.
Bethel Police Save 47-Year-Old Bethel Man ~ By Wendy Mitchell
The Bethel Police Department is proud to acknowledge that their department, along with Bethel EMT’s, saved the life of a 47-year-old Bethel man who had a heart attack. On July 13, 2011 the Bethel Police Department received a call from the man’s wife that her husband was in cardiac arrest. Sergeant Rost, Sergeant Durkin, Officer Perun, Officer Delaney, Dispatcher Mort Gutman and Dispatcher Jason Shuttleworth all assisted in the lifesaving call.
Officers Perun and Delaney and Sergeants Rost and Durkin arrived at the home of the man whose wife was performing CPR as instructed by dispatch. The officers applied AED pads and a valve mask until paramedics arrived who then took over and transported the man to the Danbury Hospital for treatment.
Police Chief Jeffrey Finch said, “Over the years we have all seen the great majority die, despite our best efforts, or those of the emergency personnel. To my great surprise this man survived. Three days later he walked out of the hospital. I spoke with him today [July 26, 2011] and he is doing well.”
Paramedic Guy Minglinas said in a letter to Captain Cedergren: “I feel compelled to point out that it was because of [Bethel Police] crew’s quick, confident actions last night that this man was able to make it to the hospital with a pulse, and hopefully spend many more years with his family.”
He continued: “They really should be commended for their actions. Last night was an excellent example of the caliber of people that work for the Town of Bethel. This town is lucky to have people that are willing to take that extra step in helping others; and do it well.”
Bethel P.D. Pass the Torch For Special Olympics ~ By Wendy Mitchell
Bethel Police & High School Students Run For Special Olympics ~ By Wendy Mitchell
Twenty-five Bethel students from Coach Chris Ciparelli’s and Coach Yvonne Grimes’ boys and girls track teams ran the 4.5 mile trek, along with four of Bethel’s finest men in blue to raise money for the 2011 Law Enforcement Special Olympics Torch Run.
The morning kicked off with Tip-a-Cop at Grassy Plain Dunkin Donuts. All funds collected go directly to Special Olympics. Sergeant Dave Bruckenthal was in charge of the fundraiser and said they had a very good turnout. He said the student runners each raised $30 a piece as well. Officers Jason Broad, Jim Wright, Lynn Morris and Captain Bob Cedergren all ran the route from Grassy Plain Street to Dodgingtown Fire Department where the torch was passed from Bethel police to the Newtown’s police department runners. Officers from the Garner Correctional Facility ran as well.
The torch was passed to Bethel from Danbury’s officers at the corner of Grassy Plain and South Street a little before 11:00a.m. Friday morning. Along the route runners received lots of supports from cheering crowds along Grassy Plain Street and Greenwood Ave. At the corner of Route 302 and 58 Bethel High School Principal Pat Cosentino and Assistant Principal Chris Troetti cheered them on along with a large group of students.
Runners were led with a police escort of motorcycles, cruisers and a school bus to transport students back to the high school after arriving at Dodgingtown, tired and very thirsty. Sergeant Bruckenthal’s daughter Corrine was waiting for the runners, cold water bottles in hand.
Captain Cedergren said, “I’ve participated in this race for 25 years, it’s a great cause.” His son, who is a senior at Newtown High School, ran alongside his father with a heavy brick in his backpack to “even the playing field.”
Sergeant Bruckenthal said he was pleased with the great turnout and Bethel officers are happy to help such a worthy cause.
For more information about the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run click here.
Tip-a-Cop & Torch Run Friday to Benefit Special Olympics ~ By Wendy Mitchell
Let Bethel’s Finest serve you!
Tomorrow morning stop by Dunkin Donuts at 53 Grassy Plain Road between 7-10am and let Bethel’s finest serve you your morning cup ‘o’ Joe. The Bethel Police Officers will serve for tips to donate directly to the Special Olympics in Connecticut.
There are 110 law agencies throughout Connecticut, ranging from the Department of Public Safety to the FBI, that all participate in the program. The funds raised provide year-round sports training and competition for over 6,400 athletes.
Tip-A-Cop is part of a larger fundraising program for the Special Olympics known as the Law Enforcement Torch Run which will also take place on Friday. Click here for a schedule of when the Torch Run rolls though town. The schedule states it should be approximately 10:52 a.m. at Grassy Plain and South Street and continuing on up Route 302.
Help Bethel Police raise money for these very special athletes.