Many have expressed serious reservations about makeup exams. They feel
that this process has been abused by some who purposely got excused from
the initial exam in order to take it on a later date after getting
feedback from friends who took the initial test. This would obviously give
them a tremendous advantage. This tactic has resulted in hard-working
officers who invested a great deal of time into preparing for the exam not
being promoted while officers who took the makeup test did get promoted.
This scenario is the exception rather than the rule. There is absolutely
no evidence to suggest that this is a widespread practice. By far, the
majority of those who have taken makeup exams have done so legitimately.
But, there has been abuse by some.
The easy answer is to completely do away with the makeup examination. You
either take the initial test, or you wait for three years until the next
one. It’s the easy and obvious answer, but is it the right one?
What happens if, God forbid, you or an immediate family member is involved
in a serious accident on the day of the test? What if one of your parents
becomes very seriously ill in the days before the exam, and you need to be
with them in the hospital? A tremendous amount of hours are invested into
preparation for the promotional exam, and the makeup policy allows you a
second chance if a situation like one of these should arise.
At best, the makeup exam policy should be reviewed and tightened.
Incorporating tighter controls would not affect those legitimately seeking
to take the makeup exam. For instance, in the case of a medical ailment,
NJDOP could require a second opinion from a doctor of their choosing who
is fully briefed as to the circumstances. Perhaps permission to take a
makeup exam should not be given until after the initial exam, so the
person applying for the makeup would be taking a serious gamble.
Competing against each other on these exams is tough enough without some
having an unfair advantage. What do you think?
- April, 2003
We are a
bunch of clowns.
tell you how disgusted and disappointed I am in our collective lack of
fight, never mind lack of interest in what affects us.
13, 2003 Governor McGreevey signed into law a bill that makes law
enforcement officers subject to prison for a very poorly defined
definition of racial profiling. It can be as high as a second degree
crime. This statute is going to be disastrous for
New Jersey law officers.
We know that many African-American and Hispanic officers are reading this,
and, please, bear with us. This issue has polarized enough people. We don’t
need it to divide us too. It’s not that we support racial profiling. In
fact, we completely and wholeheartedly oppose it. Such a practice is
contrary to what living in America is suppose to be about. Our problem is
not with the banning of racial profiling, it is with the way it was banned
and the fact that despite the numerous organizations which collect dues
from us to fund their “battle for the interests of law enforcement,”
this bill sailed through our legislature and became a law while little was
done to oppose it.
On the surface a law criminalizing racial profiling might seem like a
giant step in achieving true equality in the way that laws are enforced, a
real breakthrough for civil rights. It is far from that. With the one
officer that might be correctly sanctioned by this law, fifty, maybe a
hundred, other good officers will have their names dragged through the
mud. People sign frivolous complaints against law enforcement officers
every day. It is part of the bad-guy playbook. Now, there is a new
addition to the playbook. Just sign the cop up for racial profiling. Any
complaint signed against an officer will most certainly be accompanied by
the catch-all for screwing LEO’s second-degree Official Misconduct. Oh,
and when they don’t think of it on their own, there is a shark-infested
pool of bottom dwellers which collect retainer fees that will be there to
encourage the filing of such charges. And, we’re not bashing
lawyers either. Most of them embrace ethical values. The ones we are
referring to are, by far, the minority, but they are most certainly out
there, and winning at all costs, even at the cost of an honest officer’s
reputation, is part of their mission statement. (Don’t worry, we also
have our own internal embarrassments)
The first charges to be filed under this statute will most likely not be
waged by the AG or a prosecutor's office. They will most likely be
responsible about applying this law. No, instead it will be by
some fellow who isn’t too thrilled about being arrested for Possession
with Intent and who is looking for some leverage. The dopey cop defendant
will have his or her picture not only in every New Jersey newspaper, but
he or she will probably be featured on national networks as the “first
case” filed in US history. Every so-called civil rights activist will
undoubtedly and blindly jump on the bandwagon to wreck this officer’s
reputation and life even further. The only thing that won’t matter will
be whether there is any merit to the allegations against this officer.
After the initial impact of this law subsides, officers’ names may only
be featured in the local papers, and there is nothing in today’s world
like being publicly accused of being racist. This is all aside from the
wonderful experience the officer will have while standing in a courtroom
of people staring at the racist cop. It will be aside from not being able
to eat, feelings of depression, and being consumed by what may happen to
him. Oh, and the officer’s friends and family should also enjoy
the experience immensely.
And, how will this be prosecuted? Okay, on the surface it will be used to
prosecute an officer who purposely goes after people based on their race.
But really, how will this be determined? Many agencies now require
officers to record and submit the ethnic background of the citizens that
their officers stop. Will prosecution be based on these statistics? An
Atlantic City cop assigned to a predominantly ethnic district will clearly
be stopping mostly ethnic persons. What about the cop in parts of Sussex
County? His or her statistics will show that the people he or she stops
are mostly Caucasian. If this officer is a person of color himself, will
he or she be prosecuted for targeting whites? While we’re the issue, may
an officer be prosecuted under this statute for targeting his own race if
the statistics support it? Could an officer of color ever be prosecuted
for targeting whites or an ethnic group aside from his based on the
statistics or if a complaint is lodged against him or her? This list
God’s sake, the statute even includes age, gender, religion, handicap,
and sexual orientation! This is friggin political correctness run
amuck! Where do we draw the line? Are we going to ask motorists for their
religion and sexual orientation so we can accurately keep track of the
statistics? Could you imagine that? “And sir, here is your ticket. Oh,
one more thing. May I ask if you are white, black, Hispanic, Asian,
Middle-Eastern, gay, straight, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist,
male, female, blind, deaf, paralyzed, and…. how old are you? That ought
to go over real well with our citizens.
Then, we have the fact that this statue is going to breed a new element of
racial profiling. For example, let’s say you are running radar on a
highway. The past three or four cars you stopped, going strictly by the
speed, were persons of color. Knowing what this will look like in your
statistics, will you stop the next car if you are able to see that the
driver is another person of color, or will you wait and purposely look for
a vehicle with a white driver to try and even out your stats? According to
this law, you could go to prison for such an action. (Here’s a bulletin,
this is already happening)
This whole thing is disaster. The most repulsive part of this, however, is
how we just played dead. There are many law enforcement organizations in
New Jersey, many of which are supported by our contributions in the form
of dues. We belong to them partly to have a voice in what goes on. Well,
while this bill was sailing through, the PBA and FOP were busy bashing
each other on their websites and newsletters. The IACP, the Honor Legion,
the NJ Law Enforcement Officer’s Association, Americop.org and the
Superior Officer’s Associations remained idle with their heads up their
ass. Yes, we too had our heads up our ass. While NJLawman.com as a
non-income receiving entity has tried to be a strictly positive media
outlet for NJ law enforcement avoiding negative press and negative issues,
we did nothing expecting not to be needed for anything more than to help
get the word out. There was no word. Also, we’re not bashing the above
organizations. Many of them have accomplished great things. We’re all to
blame, not just our groups.
no one took the lead on this or at least to any large degree. Maybe it was
out of fear. Who knows? Opposing a specifically worded law should not
brand one a racist. We do have to mention that a group of officers
estimated in size to be between one and two hundred strong attended a
little-publicized protest on
the front steps of the New Jersey Statehouse on Wednesday, March 12th.
Kudos to those guys and girls. However, news accounts indicated that some
LEO groups actually conceded to this watered down version of the law and declared
such a victory. This law is no victory. There is no victory here. With all
the heroics, bravery, and goodness within our ranks, it is disgraceful
that no real fight was waged. We close towns down for funerals when
one of us falls. Could you imagine what we could accomplish if we
united for issues with that kind of turnout?
Again, we do strongly oppose racial profiling. If you don’t consider the
following: A black gentleman with his family is driving back up to New
Jersey from a vacation in Florida. Also, for the sake of argument, let’s
assume that racial profiling is lawful. The man is driving what’s
clearly identifiable as a rental Nissan Pathfinder. Assuming he took
Interstate 95 all the way up, and he were stopped just twice in each state
(which could absolutely occur if this were lawful), he would have been
stopped sixteen times during his trip. He would have also had to go
through the standard line of questioning sixteen times in front of his
family. Could you imagine one of his kids asking why this was happening?
What would the answer be? I can’t imagine having to live in such a
police state or having to go through such an ordeal especially in front of
Our problem is not with the banning of racial profiling. In fact,
depriving one’s right to liberty is banned by the New Jersey State
Constitution. Additionally, using race as a factor for stopping someone
was specifically banned in 1986 in New Jersey v. Kuhn, 213 N.J. Super. 275,
where the Court held “No rational inference may be drawn from the race
of one to be detained that he may be engaged in criminal activities.”
Undoubtedly, such a practice by law enforcement has also been visited and
banned by numerous Federal Courts as well. Finally, selective enforcement
is prohibited by just about every agency’s rules and regulations. No,
this is not about any opposition to racial profiling. We can all agree
that there is no room for this practice.
strict Attorney General Guideline could have been created to prohibit
racial profiling. Instead, we have a law which appears to be
Unconstitutional. It is vague and ambiguous. Our only hope is that this
law gets struck down by the New Jersey Supreme Court.
there is no room in a free society for law enforcement to stop persons
because they're of a particular racial or ethnic background. Such a
practice is reminiscent of 1939 Nazi Germany. However, creating a law that
will hurt many more good officers than it will stop rogue officers is not
know, the fact that everyone in this country is different is our strongest
asset. The fact that when you go to a mall or a game that you hear
different accents and different languages and see different types of
people is what makes America so great. It is a real shame that race
remains such a polarizing issue.
Column by Ptl. X
"On March 12 there was a rally by NJ law enforcement at the state
house in Trenton to show opposition to the "Anti-Profiling Bill"
(AKA: S 429). I learned about the rally only by chance the night
before. The rally was being undertaken to oppose the assembly vote on the
bill scheduled for March 13. At first I thought someone had confused
the date of the event because neither my PBA local nor any other source
was confirming the event. How come no one knew about this?
Eventually I learned FM 101.5 had confirmed the rally.
I checked the legislative calendar and confirmed S 429 was slated for vote
in the assembly on March 13th. I took the ride to Trenton after my
midnight tour. I was completely dismayed upon arriving. It was
a most pitiful showing; there were at most 60 or 70 uniformed cops milling
around the steps of the capitol building. If you had been speeding
along State Street this day, the whole affair could have been mistaken for
some type of security detail. I didn't get it. Where the hell
was everyone? Where was the PBA? I knew there was a PBA mini
convention but still, where were the reps from the state PBA? Where
was Madonna? The majority of the officers there were from South
Jersey Departments, many with FOP lodges. Of those cops who formally
addressed the small blue crowd, one represented the State Police Sergeants
Association, another was from the South Jersey Police Chiefs
Association. While these reps were looking out for our interests,
where was the PBA? Was this not an important matter worthy of its
I urge every member of every police union and association, particularly
PBA members, demand action and vigilance by its state
representatives. While none of us supports discriminatory police
practices, the bill places well-intended officers in jeopardy of criminal
charges for misconduct if they mistakenly stop an innocent person matching
a suspect's description. The bill has the potential to emasculate
proactive law enforcement initiatives in each of our communities and fill
all of our pockets with "green sheets" sworn to by the
disgruntled and vindictive. Demand action of your
state reps now!"
"The thought of enacting a law to prevent racial profiling disgusts
me. Does anyone besides me ever wake up at three in the morning and
think that at that very second somewhere in the United States there is a
Police Officer fighting for their life against some criminal who is trying
to inflict harm against you or your family?? I am not saying that
profiling is right, I am merely saying that the justice system has gone
way off the deep end and perhaps forgotten who the good guys are here.
Unless you have been a Police Officer and have been in those situations
you have no right to speak on this situation. You want to stop
profiling??? Obey the law; Stop speeding, stop tinting your windows black
and fixing up your car so that it draws attention to yourself. If I got
pulled over I must of broke the law. I didn't think that the Officer
pulling me over at night could see perfectly into my car, see that I am a
minority and that's the reason for pulling me over. Try it sometime.
Sit on the side of the highway some night, and while traffic is flying by
at a minimum of 80 mph, try to tell me the nationality of the person
driving the vehicle. If you can do that with consistency then maybe
you should be making the laws. GOOD LUCK!!!!"
"Solving the problem is easy. Be reactive ONLY!"
"McGreevey is weak!!
This state wants LEO's to lay
down, fine we will and then watch the politicians cry when crime is way
out of control. All police in this state should give tickets to all people
they stop, excluding family members and friends) if you don't, then
the person you stop can say that they were stopped because of their race.
If you write a summons, the person has nothing to say, Why? because you
proved you made a lawful stop. The politicians have made
"discretion" a thing of the past. These weak, politicians should
put on a ballistic vest and ride one tour with me in Newark, and I'll
laugh when they piss their pants. Then maybe they will support the Police
more. McGreevey I have an extra vest if you want to go for a ride.
"I think the law is totally ridiculous. Many of our officers,
especially those assigned to traffic enforcement have decided not to stop
minority motorists for violations fearing they will be accused of racial
profiling. These officers are covering themselves since many citations
result in a complaint, which leads to an automatic IA investigation.
Basically the officers need to prove they have not participated in using
race as a motive to make the stop. This has become a double standard since
it appears the officers must prove themselves innocent, yet the public is
innocent until proven guilty. We have already seen the number of MV st have not participated in using
race as a motive to make the stop. This has become a double standard since
it appears the officers must prove themselves innocent, yet the public is
innocent until proven guilty. We have already seen the number of MV stops
and citations decrease for minority operators since the officers have
decided to protect themselves and their interests i.e. job & retirement.
I feel that the NJ politicians have created an unsafe environment for all
law enforcement officers by initiating this law. Racial profiling needs to
be stopped and those responsible held accountable, but I believe the law
is scaring officers from doing their jobs that they are sworn to do.
-A Detective who cant wait to
retire and move out of this
"Believe it! Our great James McGreevey that liberal  Gov. of
NJ who sold his soul to the devil and to the highest bidder. Keep voting
for liberals and you'll keep on getting horrible legislation. I'm sure
this bill will make all of our lives much better! What ever happened
to punishing people who violate the law?... Hint...his biggest supporters.
No One Is Above The Law and it doesn't matter what skin color you are.
McGreevey should keep that in mind !
"This is "Political Correctness" at work. This action and
actions like this will allow the bad guys to do as they will under
protection of the law. Soon, every patrol officer will require an attorney
as a partner to analysis the situation before action is taken.
Remember those who enacted this law.
"The editorial is right on the money. It is sad that it had to come
to this, but I feel that strong opposition from the law enforcement
community would have an even worse effect on us as a whole.
The public and political mentality would be that "since you guys are
against the law because, you must support racial profiling!"
While I know that NJ Law Enforcement as a whole does not engage in this
sickening practice, I am sure there are (or were) a few individual
officers that do (or did) engage in it. Like anything else, it is a
"few bad apples" whose unprofessional practices result in
restrictive guidelines, directives, policies, and laws for all of us to
follow. In addition, they give the rest of us a bad rap.
Of course, the politicians do not want to offend anybody and will vote for
the law. Almost like if they did not vote for the law that they
would also be viewed as supporting racial profiling.
It is not just a PBA, STFA, or FOP issue. Where were they all?
I think I probably already answered that.
This is a very sensitive issue to us, the public, and politicians alike.
My best advice to fellow officers is not to engage in this practice, to be
professional and to use common sense in your public dealings."
"It's about time that the State PBA stops waging a war with FOP and
starts protecting the dues paying PBA members. Mr. President is always
busy bragging how he had this bill and that bill passed. Let me guess, you
probably voiced your opinion while dining the governor on our coin and
still haven't got the time to approach the topic on 70% at 25.
Thanks for nothing."
-A Police Officer
"The Editorial on Racial Profiling is right on the money. While
the practice is, in my opinion, ridiculous, we don't need another BS law
for offenders and their shysters to use as leverage to avoid prosecution.
Many agencies will readily dismiss charges against genuine offenders when
confronted with counter complaints, just to avoid media exposure and
litigation fees. In addition, the vagueness of this law will make it
impossible to defend against - it is way too open to judicial
interpretation. Get ready for more clogged courts; get ready to work
the road short, while your brother and sister officers are suspended
pending investigation/adjudication; get ready to be accused of racism and
profiling every time you take enforcement action against a suspect of a
different race or religion than you. This pandering by McGreevey
should not go forgotten !!!"
-Disgusted Patrol Officer
"S429 wording- A public servant acting or purporting to act in an
official capacity commits the crime of official deprivation of civil
rights if, knowing that his conduct is unlawful, and acting with the
purpose to intimidate or discriminate against an individual or group of
individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, 1[age,]1 handicap,
sexual orientation or ethnicity, the public servant: (1) subjects another
to unlawful arrest or detention, including, but not limited to, motor
vehicle investigative stops, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment,
lien or other infringement of personal or property rights; or (2) denies
or impedes another in the lawful exercise or enjoyment of any right,
privilege, power or immunity.
When I was in law school, we had a term for this...
"Unconstitutionally vague." Although I'm sure most LEO's
will have to deal with this, few (or none) will be convicted, since the
state will have to prove that the officer set out to discriminate.
In other words, if someone is stopped for breaking the law, the purpose of
the stop was to enforce the law, not to intimidate.
"I'm a Black male in new jersey with a score of 93 on the state law
enforcement test and I still have a hard time becoming a cop. We need more
"As a NJ resident who has many LE friends I feel this bill will be
counterproductive. While the intent is a good one, the only benefactors
will be those who are again looking to circumvent the system. This
administration has only further weakened the LE enforcement in this state.
I do not envy those who job it is to protect and serve our communities.
"I can't believe McGreevey. Keep on voting Liberals into office
and you'll keep on getting horrible legislation. I'm sure that this bill
will make all of our lives that much better! yeah right. What ever
happened to the old ideal of punishing people that brake that law no
matter who the law? NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW and it doesn't matter
what your skin color, McGREEDY should of kept that in mind."
"Granted, this bill can be extremely harmful to the way we do our job
on a daily basis, and equally place us under the microscope for
overzealous witch hunts for supposed criminal actions. However,
ladies and gentlemen, let's get real for a moment! At the present
time it is an absolute no-win situation for us to attempt to demand that
the bill be limited / modified / discounted or repealed. Have any of you
ever seen, known or been the person falsely accused of a crime and then be
vindicated by being exonerated in a court of law? Guess what, the
vast majority of the general public still feel that the person is
guilty. "They have friends in high places," "The
system is crooked," Once again the racist gets off." The
main op/ed piece that appears on this site mentioned how the backlash of a
racial profiling investigation would not only make the offer suffer from
undue public scrutiny, but his friends and family as well. Is it
really that outlandish of a concept to also safely assume that by taking a
stance on this issue to oppose in any form the above mentioned bill, that
the same treatment would be endured by the officer or his or her loved
ones just the same? That's when the hunt would officially
commence! To truly help our cause, we need the support from the
general public and have them call upon the inequitable stipulations.
With that platform first created for us by the public to stand united upon
as law enforcement officers, I truly believe we would then stand a better
chance to aid in our campaign for a fair law to eradicate the evils of
racial profiling, rather then the presently existing sham that was passed
by the state. "
Out of the fog emerges the bright, shiny squad car, the staple of any
modern-day law enforcement agency. The paint shines, the overhead lights
glisten in the morning sun. The few remaining dew drops from the evening
mist only add to the brilliance of the most noticeable vehicle of modern
times. Then, as it gets closer the writing on the car comes into focus.
Emergency? No. 9-1-1? No. Police?
No. Finally, the cryptic symbols evolve into legible words. “Eat
“Absolutely not!” you might say.
Right now this type of advertising situated on patrol cars is in the
Okay, say that you’re an administrator with your department. You’re
also in charge of the fleet. Money is tight, and you’re trying to get a
few more months out of some of your older cars. One day your receive a
call from a fellow representing a national company. He tells you that he
will give you four fully equipped police cars for a dollar each if you
agree to post advertisements on the police cars. Come on, you’d have to
at least think about if for a second, especially in you’re from a
smaller agency where cars are at a minimum.
Government Acquisitions, LLC, a North Carolina based firm, is the
principle firm behind this new concept. To date, we cannot find one agency
who has accepted delivery of these vehicles, but this company has received
interest from law enforcement agencies all over the country. As of last
month, they had signed with at least twenty departments.
Proponents will argue that this program could result in substantial
savings for the taxpayer. Police Departments will often take up one
quarter of a municipality’s operating budget. By adopting this program,
police departments can slowly turn over the fleet, and replace vehicles
every three years which is allowed under the program. If you already have
enough vehicles, Government Acquisitions LLC will even allow you to create
a take-home-car program for your officers.
Individual officers can benefit as well. If only a percentage of the saved
funds were put back into the department, it could mean a windfall of
overtime opportunities. Motor vehicle checkpoints, DWI patrols, Street
Crimes Patrols, community service events, and narcotics operations can all
be funded with the extra cash.
Also, patrol cars are the perfect place to advertise. Everybody looks at
and watches patrol cars. “Uh, oh, a cop. Slow down.” If this program
did take off people would even take more notice. Eventually, people would
be looking even closer at patrol cars to see what the car looks like and
what ads are on there. If you were part of the think tank of a major
company, this program would be worth a shot, depending on the cost of
The arguments for such a program can go on. Freeing up money allows
agencies to begin spending on homeland security; big city departments can
use the savings to give their officers well-deserved and long overdue
raises, savings can be applied toward long needed equipment, etc.
The mayor in the town of North Brunswick has publicly expressed his
interest in the idea. He estimates that they could save $250,000 per year
by signing up.
It all comes down to, “Is it worth it?” “Is it worth the price?”
Commercial Alert, a nonprofit organization chaired by long-time consumer
activist Ralph Nader said ads on police cars would make the officers and
their vehicles “objects of ridicule and scorn.” “It is
imperative that we resist all that would cheapen or degrade the men and
women who maintain order in our communities, or would make them objects of
ridicule and contempt,” they said.
We wholeheartedly agree with them.
Law enforcement is a profession. If we start putting advertisements on
patrol cars, what’s next? What about our uniforms? Surely we could
generate some extra cash by wearing uniforms resembling those of a NASCAR
driver. Does that mean it is a good idea?
Despite all of the positives, and there are many, law officers would now
be driving around in nothing less than rolling billboards.
Some things should just be out of bounds for revenue collection. Included
in that credo should be everything pertaining to law enforcement.
Everything about us should remain pure, untarnished, neutral and detached.
We wouldn't even consider doing something like this in a court of law.
Well, shouldn’t law enforcement be held to the same standard? What about
our nation’s monuments? The Statue of Liberty is one of the most
photographed and viewed icons in our country. What if Nike agreed to
absorb all maintenance costs in return for putting their slash right
across her crown? Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but you get the point.
Of course there are other arguments to be made over the conflict of
interest that may result from this, and the new source of articles for the
media with headlines like “Why Cops are Practicing Selective Enforcement
in Favor of their Advertisers,” but we’re not even going to visit
them. The argument against this shouldn't have to go beyond principle.
"It would be a plus on my Department. They would have to buy some
cars that run.
"Advertising on a police car?? How unprofessional!!! Cops don't get
enough respect now.. Imagine if Dunkin Donuts advertised on the side of a
radio car? Laughing stocks! Appearance of police at any scene,
commands respect that all cops deserve. How good would it look if a
sponsor got arrested for being affiliated with known criminals?? Why
not have memorials dedicated to our fallen brethren, killed in the line of
"Giving a simple yes or no answer to the question about advertising
on patrol cars is too simple. Are they advertising Viagra or Dunkin
donuts and how large is the ad are are all questions that need to be
answered. I think it should looked into in detail. It can work out
well if done correctly. I
am a retired patrol officer of 30 years.
"Just another disgrace to the law enforcement community. Why not go
one step further...on the officers idle time between calls let the
department allow us to deliver food for Pizza Hut! Think about
it...the pizza would be delivered much faster and hotter....with lights
and siren activated."
-Lieutenant Gene DiGiacomo
"I feel the integrity of the Police Departments would be effected.
If the businesses wanting to advertise buy billboards."
"This is a disgrace to any dept. Use the garbage trucks or any PW
vehicles, not police cars. Here's a way for the public to loose respect
for the police officer. What's next clown suits for uniforms?"
"Who is going to drive the Viagra car? Not me!"
"It could mean a windfall of overtime opportunities...DWI patrol I
could just see it now Budweiser or Coors advertising on a unit assigned to
DWI patrol !!!!"
"This is akin to gambling in professional sports. It lessens
the integrity and credibility of the profession."
"I think there is a bill in the assembly prohibiting such
"I think this is ludicrous, Police cars need to be readily
recognizable. I don't want to know as the Tides cop. Municipality managers
need to cut somewhere else."
"Welcome to NASCAR! So...now do I shake the advertisers door
more often than a non-advertisers...who gets quicker response to service
related calls? We are under the magnifying glass enough these days
why open ourselves to additional problems? I say no to advertising,
I am familiar with the North Brunswick story, it's been in the news in my
area for a few months. What happens if an advertiser is accused of
being EOE non-compliant or even uses sweatshops to produce it's
products...stickers would be coming and going on a daily basis.
Ralph Nader is right on this one, Officers would be subjected to ridicule
driving these cars, driving a car with advertisement from the company
could cause more damage than it is worth. If our agencies are looking for
ways to gain financial support from advertising there are other avenues
that need to be looked into to gain those needed dollars. I have no
idea what the best solution is, but advertising on patrol cars is not
worth the price."
"Unbelievable, I can't believe anyone would even think about
something like this. Not only are we kissing the communities butt, but now
we advertise for them."
"If I wanted to advertise on a vehicle, I would drive a race
2002 Year in Review
It’s over. For some,
good reddens to 2002. For others, good memories. Either way, we all hope
that 2003 can be a better year.
In New Jersey we only lost one in the line of duty. Trooper Christopher S.
Scales died on December 3rd while working a seatbelt enforcement detail.
One too many.
We saw State v. Carty (requiring reasonable suspicion before
requesting consent to search a motor vehicle) find its way into our
vocabularies. We also saw the State v. Dangerfield debacle where
the NJ Supreme Court first severely limited incident-to-arrest searches
followed by an unprecedented reversing of their own decision a few weeks
A statute subjecting LEO’s to criminal prosecution for racial profiling
still looms in the legislature.
While the numbers are still being confirmed, it looks like Amazing Grace
was played 133 times nationwide in 2002.
We saw many, many heroics, kind acts, and solving of the unsolvable during
the past year as we do every year. We dragged people from fires, delivered
babies, brought the dead back to life, and chased down, fought with, and
took off the street persons destined to inflict harm on others often
putting ourselves in harm’s way. Some of us almost lost our lives doing
this job. As indicated above, one of us did. We also saw many of these
eclipsed in the press by mistakes made by those within our ranks.
There are many reasons to be proud of your profession. Today, we teach in
the schools, speak at events, volunteer with children, conduct clothing
drives for the poor, hold fundraisers for those in need, and even feed the
hungry. (Nice job Jersey City PD) Then there are the things that no
one sees like helping someone with cab fare from your own pocket, taking
time to talk to some addict about rehab, reaching, even if just for a
second, some kid heading down a bad road, or just picking up off the
street and giving a ride to some woman and her children during a heavy
rain storm. This is all in addition to locking up child molesters,
rapists, murderers, and other shitbirds. Today, more then ever before, LEO’s
are called upon for so much more than directing traffic, giving tickets,
and separating combatants. We are truly a part of the solution and
participate in so many efforts to make our towns better places to live.
Resolutions are good. They are goals. The beginning of a new year offers
not just a time to reflect, but an opportunity to change course, refocus,
reinforce, and redo. Good contracts are great. Better retirement
percentages with less years required are awesome. Promotions, moving to
the DB, choice schools, or being loaned to a county NSF for a year are all
exciting. However, there are certain things that don’t necessarily
benefit us as individuals that must be on our collective agendas. As
mentioned in previous articles, we are a culture, a body. Some things must
be done for the good of the body. Below are just a couple of thoughts.
Take a look:
is Enough! Get off the NJ State Police’s ass!
Playing Dead! We mass in the thousands when one of us falls, but when
we fall under siege for some incident involving our officers we often
don’t even offer as much as a press release
watch for any case law bringing back the decision in State v.
Dangerfield (prohibiting police from conducting incident-to-arrest
searches of persons arrested for disorderly person’s offenses) and
amass to fight it via PBA, FOP, other LEO advocacy groups, senators,
assemblyman, etc.! We cannot play dead on this one
the following! “We all know how hard it is to get this job, but a
lot of us forget how easy it is to lose.” An awesome quote to our
Editorial Page from an anonymous NJ officer.
There are many others. Please use the text box at the top of the
column on the right to add some goals or thoughts for 2003.
Marketing of Law Enforcement"
During a recent trip, the subject of New Jersey law enforcement came up in
conversation. A woman from the west coast commented, “Oh, they’re a
really corrupt police force out there.” Aside from her obvious lack of
knowledge as to how law enforcement is organized in New Jersey and her
quickness to label an entire state’s law enforcement community based on
a 30 second clip she saw on the news, her comment offers much to think
There are many forces working against the law enforcement community. That
is a fact, and there is little, if anything, that can be done about it.
With that said, do we do enough to combat the negative perception created
by those many forces? In most of the high profile cases, “No comment”
is usually our response. This may be accompanied by assurances that the
incident and the officer(s) will be fully investigated. The other side,
however, makes daily accusations in the press. They mysteriously produce
new witnesses and new facts to keep the incident in the spotlight. We
again offer the “no comment” response.
Fortune 500 companies have entire divisions devoted to public relations.
Politicians have press secretaries, celebrities have personal assistants,
and professional athletes have agents. We have…..no comment. It’s no
wonder that we come off as the boogiemen.
Perhaps, in addition to training courses on management, uniform crime
reports, and handling the marginal employee, upper ranking police officers
should be taking courses on marketing and press relations. Even though it
is on our side 99% of the time, the truth doesn’t count. Perception is
what counts. By that I don’t mean in any way we should spread false
propaganda. Simply, because the truth is on our side, we need to get it
out more frequently and to a wider audience.
In the 1990’s “random acts of kindness” became one of the buzz
terms. This is what law enforcement officers do every single day. When a
CO consoles an inmate who just learned of the death of a relative and
can’t be with his or her family, when a black officer helps the wife of
a not-so-open-minded fellow and shapes his views toward persons unlike
him, or when a white police officer reaches the teen who has had a hatred
for law enforcement instilled in him since birth, we are performing
extraordinary acts that never go noticed.
It’s not about doing things for good press either. It’s the stuff that
is done every day that needs to be publicized more. I’ve seen officers
buy pampers for a woman who spent all her money on crack, give cab fare to
a stranded family, drive an elderly man to the store for milk, get people
jobs, and convince addicts to go to rehab. We teach in the schools, speak
at chamber of commerce meetings, run after-school programs, organize
sporting events, take groups of underprivileged kids to baseball games,
and coach teams. The list is endless.
The problem is that we don’t get the word out enough. Every line
supervisor should be watching for these moments and relaying them up to
middle management. In turn, middle management should be assembling press
releases or finding ways to publicly commend these actions. Next to the
fax machine in every law enforcement headquarters should be the fax number
to the news room of every major national, state, regional and local media
outlet. Obviously, we can’t send out a press release for every good
deed, but perhaps they can be assembled to recognize an officer for his or
her work which can get dispatched everywhere.
It is true that it would come to a point where the press clearly skips
some stories in furtherance of their own agenda, but we are far from even
reaching that bridge. We simply don't do enough to highlight our
With all that said, we also cannot defend the indefensible. That is where
credibility is lost. Just look at some of the so-called activists who take
on every ridiculous cause that crosses their path. The one or two worthy
things they might do in a year get lost because the spokesman has no
credibility. We have to be careful not to fall into that trap.
When a high profile incident arises, we should have strategies in place to
manage the coverage. Protecting the officer and reputation of the agency
have to be the priorities wherever possible. If we stick to the "no
comment" strategy, the story or article will be one-sided filled only
with accusations. As far as our day-to-day accomplishments, letting
the public know of the many, many random acts of kindness performed by law
enforcement officers every hour of every day is long overdue. Marketing is
proactive. If we want to change perception, we have to do it
hear it often, but it's true. We're our own worst enemy. Your
article was right on the money. We do play dead way too much."
- Lt. Rob