Detective Crogan to Hudson kids: “Call me Officer Chad”
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – It's been about a year since Detective Chad Crogan's title changed when he accepted more investigative work in the cyber-crimes unit of the Hudson Police Department (HPD). But to the town's students, he's still known simply as Officer Chad.
“It's important for me to make a connection with kids,” he said. “It's letting them know that police officers do more than write tickets, arrest people and send them to jail. It's building a trusting relationship at a young age that a police officer is someone who is friendly, so that they can talk with me or any other police officer anywhere.”
Crogan started working in law enforcement as a summer job in college on Cape Cod, which ultimately led to seven years as a police officer in Boston. Shortly after getting hired fulltime by the HPD in 2005, he became the youth resource officer.
“I go to the schools whenever they need me,” he said, citing bullying incidents and bus misconduct as examples.
For kindergarten and elementary students, Crogan presents safety programs with themes such as Halloween, bicycles and summertime activities. He's also a reliable guest reader when the schools host “Read Across America Day” celebrating the birthday of Dr. Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.
For fifth-graders, Crogan instructs Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), now at Quinn Middle School. DARE comprises a third of the health education classes. The program focuses on more topics than drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention.
“We emphasize making good choices,” Crogan explained. “When they encounter a problem, the choice they make can impact their future with positive or negative consequences. I let them really try to think through the process of making a decision.”
Crogan realizes DARE's success, sometimes immediately and occasionally years later. Throughout several years, he has reconnected with some of his DARE alumni.
“The students in my first DARE class are now juniors at the high school,” he noted. “Some kids have come back and talked with me about encountering real-life experiences that we had discussed in DARE, and how it helped them make a good choice.”
In recent years, Crogan has worked on the HPD's cyber-crimes unit with Captain Michael Burks Sr. and Officer Christopher Vezeau.
“I sold the department on the idea of using Facebook and Twitter,” Crogan said. “We'se able to provide our residents with updated information such as road closures, so they can be informed in a timely manner.”
In December, soon after a robbery of an elderly woman in the Petco parking lot, the HPD posted photos of the suspects from surveillance video obtained by the nearby Walmart.
“We got calls immediately from the postings,” Crogan said. “It was picked up by all the major media in Boston and they were identified rather quickly, so it really helps.”
In 2008, Crogan participated for the first time in the HPD's Summer Youth Academy for students entering grades seven to nine. Since 2011, he's been serving as its director.
“It's a great experience for the kids to learn what we do as police officers from day to day,” he said. “And it's free. All they have to do is bring their lunch and a good attitude.”
Two one-week sessions will be held this summer. The maximum enrollment is 25 participants for each session. A registration form will be available online Wednesday, April 30, at hudsonpd.org.
“I never know who I'sl impact in my DARE class or Summer Youth Academy,” Crogan said. “Hopefully, I can help somebody make good choices to stay out of trouble.”
Keep in touch with HPD on Twitter at twitter.com/HudsonMaPD and Facebook at facebook.com/pages/Hudson-Massachusetts-Police-Department/464079643654982.
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