I say it often, cops are pillars of the community. Without cops, there can be no real peace on the streets and without peace and security, there won't be much prosperity.

Look at some of the areas around New Jersey that have suffered from police shortages, layoffs, and misguided mandates that further reduce the workforce.

Beyond staffing, there is the issue of solving a problem proactively before it becomes a problem.

We see so many kids across the Garden State without opportunity or direction. Often teens are looking ahead at a future that isn't as bright as they might hope, especially when it comes to the pressure to go to college, despite the tremendous debt incurred and lack of job openings for so many. I've advocated for years that we need to help younger kids explore a career in trades and skip the degree.

Today's #BlueFriday honoree is helping teens do just that.

"Cooking With Cops" is a program led by Franklin Township Detective Altwain Burell. He's been on the force since 2005 and is happy to lead this seven-week program that teaches teens all about cooking techniques, running a kitchen, team building, and unique recipes. I want to thank the Stage House Tavern in Somerset and Executive Chef Donald "Junio" Erickson for making the partnership possible.

Franklin PD Detective Altwain Burwell and students in the spring "Cooking with Cops" (Photo Credit: Altwain Burwell)
Franklin PD Detective Altwain Burwell and students in the spring "Cooking with Cops" (Photo Credit: Altwain Burwell)

Read about the details from New Jersey 101.5 midday news anchor Jen Ursillo's article HERE.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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