The following article was submitted to Patch by the :
Daren Baumgardt, a member of the Fort Lee Police Department since 2000, is the recipient of the Chief’s Award for the month of April. Chief Thomas O. Ripoli created this award as a way to recognize officers for their outstanding contributions to the Fort Lee Police Department and to the community.
Baumgardt grew up in Mahwah and graduated from Mahwah High School in 1990. After attending Trenton State College, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1992 and served 4 years on active duty and participated in numerous operations including Operations Provide Promise and Deny Flight in the Bosnia-Herzegovina region. Baumgardt earned several awards and citations including a meritorious promotion to Corporal, a Navy Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment (2nd award), and a Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged in 1996 holding the rank of Sergeant. He is also a member of the VFW Cairola-Barber post 2342 in Fort Lee.
Baumgardt joined the Fort Lee Police Department in 2000 and has worked on every shift in the Patrol Division. During his 12-year career he has served in the General Investigations Division, Narcotics Division, and the Traffic Division. He is also a member of the Motorcycle Unit, Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, and a former member of the Emergency Services Unit. He has attended numerous schools including the Maryland State Police Basic Motorcycle Course, Crash I, Crash II, Vehicle Dynamics, Accident Reconstruction and Accident Reconstruction for Motorcycles. He has also attended the HIDTA course and the Traffic Engineering School at Rutgers University Camden. Baumgardt also serves as the Department’s liaison to the Bergen County and NJ State Police Traffic Officers Associations as well as the liaison to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission’s Mobile Inspection Team. He has received several awards and commendations throughout his career.
In February 2010, Baumgardt assisted Chief Thomas Ripoli in implementing the “Street Smart is Street Safe” program, which was designed to protect the safety of school children and School Crossing Guards. As a part of this program, Baumgardt incorporated Chief Ripoli’s idea to increase the visibility of the School Crossing Guards by issuing them each a personal flashing LED beacon, becoming the first town in Bergen County to take this initiative.
Baumgardt is currently assigned to the Traffic Division as the Crossing Guard Liaison Officer, supervising Fort Lee’s 49 Crossing Guards.