Watch: Officer stops child from getting hit by car outside N.J. school
A child walked behind a vehicle was backing up during school drop-off; Officer Mike Stallone quickly raced toward the child and moved her to safety
By Nicolas Fernandes
PARK RIDGE, N.J. — A video captured the heroic moment when a special police officer quickly moved a student from the street to the sidewalk at a school in Bergen County last week, preventing her from being struck by a car.
The clip, posted on the Park Ridge Police Department’s Facebook page, shows SLEO Class III officer Mike Stallone removing the girl from the street as she was standing behind a vehicle that was backing up during the morning drop-off.
The incident occurred June 6 at 8:17 a.m. in front of West Ridge Elementary School, according to Park Ridge Police Capt. Joseph Rampolla. The student had just crossed the street and was on the sidewalk, but backtracked and went back into the street to pick up a hair pin that she had dropped, Rampolla said.
“The child walked behind a vehicle as it was backing up and Mike Stallone quickly raced toward the child and scooped her up away from the moving vehicle,” Rampolla said.
Rampolla commended Stallone, who recently became a school resource officer after retiring from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office.
“He loves his new job and is already showing the importance of being there for the safety of everyone,” Rampolla said. “We are so grateful the little girl is safe and that Mike is on our team.”
SLEO Class III officers are retired police officers, who must be below the age of 65, according to a description on the state of New Jersey’s website. The armed officers commonly work as school resource officers and are authorized to exercise the full powers and duties of full-time police officers, according to the state.
Many school district’s across the country, including New Jersey’s East Brunswick Public School District, partnered with local police to assign SLEO Class III officers to their schools in response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting in 2018, which killed 17 and injured another 17.
The initiative has been criticized by some taxpayers due to the high salaries and high-cost benefits of the officers.