The Camden County College police expo on Oct. 19 hosted representatives from more than 30 departments across the region, including Wildwood and North Jersey.
While dominated by Camden County, Pennsylvania and Delaware state troopers were on hand to encourage students at the college to explore law-enforcement careers, not only as officers but also in areas like dispatch and department assistance.
Lt. Derek Hawkins of the Voorhees Police department said the turnout was good, noting he and had conversations with a few residents.
“We personally talked to about 10 people, but it felt like about 100 people passed through (the expo),” said Hawkins, a 20-year police veteran.
The Gloucester Township department had representation from Charles Ohrenich, Kelsey Toomey, Nicole Bertini and Craig Walsh, the department’s recruitment team. They are not only officers but also dispatchers who had something to say about getting a foot in the police door.
Ohrenich discussed the advantages of the Special Law Enforcement Officers (SLEO) program for township cops.
“(The Gloucester Township department) does a great job at introducing our SLEO officers to the force,” he noted. “It’s a great way for those who are unsure of what they want their career (in law enforcement) to be.”
While the expo took place at Camden County College, many of the departments on hand met high-school seniors who expressed interest in joining their local police departments, but were unsure where to begin, either after college or after high school.
Gloucester Township Community Relations officer Jim Waldin attended the college and said it helped him make his decision.
“It offered me a good chance at some experience before I joined the GTPD,” he said.
All of the departments represented at the expo are seeking recruits on their websites and Facebook pages.