The Bordentown Township Police Department looks to find innovative and creative ways to interact with and reach out to the Bordentown community
Over the last two years, the department has provided an Xbox with a Cop activity for children during its National Night Out events.
The activity has sparked great interaction with children and people in the community, according to Bordentown Township Police Capt. Shawn Mount, which prompted the department to hold the activity as a special event for the township during the coronavirus pandemic.
On March. 27, the department held a special Xbox with a Cop virtual event through Xbox Live from 3-5 p.m, allowing people in the community to have some fun and play video games against cops in their town.
“It’s an exciting way to interact with children and people in the community,” Mount said. “We want to try to establish a relationship with them and this shows that we can relate to them in some way.”
The department put an advertisement on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages earlier in the week to promote the event. The memo stated for people to email Mount their gamertags and send in any video games they wanted to play.
Madden 20 and Star Wars Battlefront II were the original two video games selected by the department to play, before they received votes to play Fortnite from the community, Mount said.
The department set up two stations where both Bordentown Township Police Patrolmen Peter Appelman and Joshua Gardner played online against the community in either Madden 20 or Fortnite. Mount said about 15 people participated.
The department received great feedback from the event and a lot of parents in the community felt it was a great idea, Mount said.
“The kids really enjoyed playing with the officers,” he said. “We want to have open contact with kids [and] show them that we are people just like them.”
The Xbox with a Cop idea originated from the Westhampton Police Department starting it three years ago, Mount said.
The event’s success has already gotten Mount to reach out to Bordentown Township Police Chief Brian Pesce about doing the event more often throughout the year and promoting it in a larger capacity.
Mount said his goal is to make the event bigger by having three to four stations set up in the police department, with prizes at stake to get more children involved. One of the prizes being discussed could involve the department’s regular ride along program for local youth, Mount said.
“Our goal is to get 50-100 kids involved,” he said.