(January 14th—Jersey City) Officer Brian Lee from the New Jersey Transit Police Department (NJTPD) met with Explore students to discuss the roles of police officers in communities as well as safe ways to react in stressful situations.
As a teenager, Lee found himself having to file a police report after an unfortunate incident. It was during this interaction with police that he became inspired to pursue the career. Officer Lee has now been on the job for 7 years.
Madison Chambers, 7th grade, never had any intentions of becoming a police officer but was still inspired by his story. “Officer Lee really expressed that when he went to the police station to file that police report he really saw what police do. He saw that every day ordinary people go through different struggles and they need someone to help them. Officer Lee said everyone goes through things and as a police officer it’s nice to be a part of helping people.”
Lee touched on important topics such as body camera equipment and how it works and the difference between what we see on fictional television shows about cops and what is real.
The students were asked to share any questions they had. For many of them, the very recent shooting at the Newport Mall was at the forefront of their thoughts. A number of Explore students were at the mall during the shooting and others knew someone who was.
Lee was one of the first responders to the scene and admitted that to date it is his most intense moment as a police officer. Officer Lee was happy to address any questions or concerns students had about returning to the mall. He was also focused on sharing important tips for dealing with stressful situations such as a shooting in the safest manner.
“He said it was very important to get cover immediately. Flip over a table, get in a closet, do whatever you have to do to not be visible,” 6th grader Alan Marusic stated.
“Aside from hiding and not being visible, Officer Lee talked a lot about what to do after you are out of the situation and safe. He said that it is very important to talk to someone you trust if you feel you’re having a hard time. Even if it’s weeks later. He said even adults have to call someone up and talk about things in order to feel better,” Sara Khiri, 7th grade.
Principal Krone added, “We are so fortunate that Officer Lee visited Explore and spoke to the students about staying safe and protocol when responding to stressful and potentially dangerous situations.”