In the second week of the Pinellas Park Police Citizen’s Academy, Class 22 participants stood down from their regular schedule for an emotional presentation on 9/11 by Pinellas Park Police Officer Harold Behar. An eight-year veteran of the Pinellas Park PD, Behar previously served with the New York Police Department responding to the vicious attack by terrorists on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.
Officer Behar, who is normally a very friendly and affable person in his duty as the School Resource Officer for Pinellas Park High School, turned somber and serious during his two-hour power point presentation that included over 150 photos he had personally taken over a period of five years chronicling the effects of the attack and the rebuilding process.
Bringing the 9/11 presentation up close and personal to class participants, Behar passed around memorabilia that included newspapers and photos journals depicting the aftermath of the attack along with pieces recovered from the destroyed site.
As the link between the police department and Pinellas Park High School students, Officer Behar was directly responsible for acquiring a small piece of the bed rock foundation and steel from the damaged buildings that ultimately became a key element in the design of the 9/11 Memorial located at the entrance to Pinellas Park High School.
The final hour of the class featured a presentation on Crime Prevention by Officer Donna Saxer who outlined many of the common-sense steps residents can take to safeguard their homes and property as well as being the “eyes and ears” of the neighborhood by reporting suspicious behavior. Officer Saxer’s unbridled humor and outgoing personality played an important part in getting her points across to the class. Saxer’s amusing touch of awarding Hershey Kisses as a reward for correct answers to questions asked about crime prevention helped motivate interaction - and a caloric bump - among class participants.