On July 4, 2001 Domenick Infantes, a
seven-year-veteran police officer of the Jersey City
Police Department, was off duty and enjoying himself at a 4th of July
At one point fireworks were thrown onto the driveway of the family hosting
the gathering. They landed near two children, 1 and 4, who became
hysterical from the loud noise. The father of the children yelled at
the kids who threw the fireworks and told them to stop.
One of the adults at this neighbor's house heard the firework throwing
children being yelled at and began yelling back. The two men began
yelling back and forth at one and other. A second man also appeared
at this neighbor's home.
Instead of just letting it end, these neighbors, Benjamin and Alfredo
Gavina, each grabbed a metal pipe and began walking over.
Hearing the commotion, Domenick came out, identified himself as a police
officer by word and with his badge, and asked everyone to calm down.
He asked the Gavina brothers to put down the pipes. As described by
eyewitness Tina Belka, "They refused and began to yell at Dom to show
them his gun to prove he was a police officer and started yelling things
about cops. Dom told me to 'Call 911, tell them officer needs
assistance.' My father was standing there also, so he ran in and
called 911. The Gavinas were still holding the pipes, refusing to put them
down or go inside."
An altercation ensued. When it was over, Domenick who was unarmed,
was on the ground. He had suffered massive trauma as a result of
blows to the head with a metal pipe. Domenick died as a result of
Two years later the court case began. Domenick seemed to be the one
put on trial. Both brothers were acquitted of murder, and only one
was found guilty of Reckless Manslaughter, a lesser charge.
In memory of Domenick Infantes, members of the Jersey City POBA have
launched an effort to bring a civil rights prosecution against these two
They need your help.
A webpage has been created to outline exactly what needs to be done.
here to visit this page.
Please, please help them. Officer Infantes is gone, but he should
not be forgotten.
Justice for Ptl. Domenick Infantes.
us your reactions to
post them below
not all in caps)
December 15, 2005
Gentlemen, ladies (of the law
enforcement community), and friends, family, and loved ones of Ofc.
Infantes, my heartfelt condolences go out to you all who knew, and loved.
and were friends/fellow officers of Ofc. Infantes. What was described in
the aforementioned article is nothing short of an utter outrage and
complete injustice. It is so very tragic that our state, our society, our
criminal justice system has deteriorated to this point - where the
criminals, the perpetrators of violence, and the purveyors of filth are
afforded greater leniency and "protection" than those of us sworn to
enforce the law, and thus protect (all, equally) and preserve law, order,
and civility. It is absolutely disgusting. I am a NJ state correction
officer, and I see these sort of things happen all the time. Violent
predators and perverts in the jail victimize another inmate, a civilian
employee, or an officer, and when the response team arrives, and quells
the incident, the officers' actions (NOT THOSE OF THE VIOLENT PERPETRATOR)
are scrutinized by the internal affairs division and the administration.
In this country, it seems that law enforcement officers are "handcuffed",
emasculated, stripped of any "real" power to do our jobs. with the rise of
street gangs on the east coast, our streets are now becoming increasingly
violent and dangerous. The Bloods street gang has actually declared war on
all law enforcement officers (and our families). They've already started
killing cops in Newark, NJ. We need a tougher approach to dealing with
criminals and street thugs. We cannot continue to merely warehouse
criminals either. We need "REAL SOLUTIONS" for our very "REAL PROBLEMS".
Convicts in our jails are only becoming criminal in their mentality and
behavior (and the juveniles are even worse). Life is very precious (sacred
even). A law enforcement officer (or those in general who are charged with
the responsibility of protecting life) is just as sacred. A most severe
penalty should be meted out against those who unjustly take life!
The crematorium is accepting
new "clients" daily. Free limousine service is available for their
immediately delivery to their final destination.
Could someone arrange their
immediate pick-up and escort? I would be personally delighted to observe
this event. These two bastards deserve nothing less. Also, please
bring the lenient Judge along for the ride, the asshole that let them
plea-bargain down their murder raps. He should meet the same fires of the
God Bless Dominick & His Soul.
In the spirit of Good fellowship, let true justice be done.
October 15, 2004
Oh God the family of
this man. God bless you all and you know what the law does not
always work, but God does.
October 11, 2004
My name is Robert
Infantes, I am Dom's cousin. I am also a police officer. I felt a
double loss on July 4th. 2001. I lost a very special part of my family
as well as a Brother officer. I thought July 4th. 2001 was the worst
day in the history of my family, until the day that jury freed one of
those animals for killing an unarmed man, and giving the other animal
a slap on the wrist. That jury mad it very clear to all POLICE
OFFICERS all around the USA what they thought of THE LAW and of the
men and women in blue whom took an oath to protect them, to give the
ultimate price so they and their families can sleep in peace. I was so
very angry for that day. I did not want to come to work anymore. I
felt, why should I get shot at, run off the road by punks in a stolen
cars, or beat up when responding to call for domestic violence,
risking my life for a burglary call, responding to aid a sick person,
why should I do do all this for people who would free someone who just
killed me because they don't like the police for some insane reason
like they got a speeding ticket or arrested at some point in their
life or race. I thought screw them, screw them all... That lasted for
about 1 day. Simply for the fact that Dominick would be upset with me
for feeling this way, people need someone to watch over them to
protect them from harm, to listen to them when no one else will to
make the streets safe for the children. That is why we became Police
officers, to make a difference. Ironically July 4th. just happens to
be my wife's birthday. Do you want to know how I celebrate it, by
going to the cemetery to visit Dom. The 4th. of July to me for the
rest of life and for my family will always be a reminder of the day
Dominick was beaten like a dog, murdered, and the 2 animals that did
are having a barbecue. This is not justice for a man who gave his life
to protect yours.
October 6, 2004
I never knew
Domenick Infantes but I work with his cousin who also is a police
officer. The justice system has once again failed all of us law
abiding citizens by not punishing the criminals. This cannot
continue!!! We as a society cannot let crimes against police officers
go unpunished. If we do anarchy will rule and life as we know it will
end. My heart goes out to the Infantes family.
September 12, 2004
Firstly my prayers and
sympathy to PO Infantes family. Anyone who kills a cop on or off duty
should get the death penalty. Once again we have the perp's in the act
with no question, and a jury of idiots (not peers) aided by a p/o/s
Attorney comes to the wrong conclusion.
want to say to Dominick's family that he has not been forgotten. I
knew him for a long time and he was a wonderful person. It is not only
the issue that a cop was murdered but a great person has been lost. He
is in heaven watching over you all with his genuine heart and smile.
He was a person who wanted the best for everyone. Thank you for
bringing him into this world and know that one day you will see him
again. His strength and love is living through you all on
a daily basis. Every time you smile he smiles. all of your
actions are done in memory of him. Therefore he will always be remembered.
Justice will be served. He will always be in my heart. Many blessings.
Hw would love that the Mets are kicking the Yankees butts. ;- )
am currently working towards becoming a full time police officer and
yet everyday there is some news article that puts that ounce of doubt
in the back of my mind. I am already a police reserve for my
town and love the hands on experience but when you hear of officers
being killed because of the doubt they have in their mind to use their
weapon that has been issued to them it's absolutely ridiculous!
In my opinion when an officer has to reach for his weapon he has a gut
instinct that something is terribly wrong and for him to doubt himself
at this moment only makes the situation worse. Why issue a
deadly force weapon if when it is used, you, as an officer face
charges and internal affairs down your back? It only makes our
officers less efficient and focused when they worry about being
prosecuted for doing what they are trained to do. It's sad that
the job. I've dreamed of having my whole life may not end up
being my job after all...
again the system failed to put two brothers behind bars for murder.
And if Domenick would of fired his weapon with total justification to
do so the system would of found a way to make him wrong anyway. And if
one of the family members of a political party gets hurt THEY WANT THE
HAMMER THROWN AT THE PERSON WHO DID IT!! WHAT A JOKE OF A SYSTEM WE
HAVE!! This is an injustice to all police officers. In today's world
being a police officer in the eyes of the system is simply your a
badge # that can be replaced. A message to the IDIOTS who acquitted
these two brothers of murder. Maybe someday you'll be in the same
situation and this will happen to you and see how you like it!! Your
decision is a JOKE!!
Bless the Infantes family!!
is a crime in itself to have the Gavina brothers not convicted of
first-degree cold-blooded murder. There is no excuse for the jury's
actions, they should be ashamed of themselves. How are Police Officers
supposed to be confident in doing their jobs? This was a true injustice
to every single Police Officer in America.
-Stevens Inst. of Technology
THE INFANTES FAMILY: I HAD THE PLEASURE OF KNOWING DOMINICK THRU OUT
OUR HIGH SCHOOL YEARS, HE WAS A JOY TO BE AROUND WITH, HE MADE
EVERYONE LAUGH, I WILL MISS HIM DEARLY. GOD BLESS THE INFANTES FAMILY
FOR HAVING SO MUCH STRENGTH. DOMINICK IS WATCHING OVER US. KEEP THAT
FLAG WAVING! JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED
is crazy, police officers can no longer do their job. Politicians and
the changing times have taken the power away from the police and given
it to the criminals. Even the death of a cop wont change that. where
is this country going, its time for all of us to find another
profession. May God bless this officer and his whole family, my heart
goes out to them.
thanks to everyone who took the time to link to the [Justice for PO Domenick
Infantes] site. To date, over 1,200 hits have been recorded on the
site. If every one of them sent the letters, then a powerful message
is being sent to our legal system.
holiday wish is for Domenick's family to see justice served and to bring
peace to their respective families.
now resides with the heroes of our profession, where he and his family
will be always honored and never forgotten.
Peace to All.
a jersey city resident I am outraged. This crime took place around the
corner from where I live! Shame on the people who let killers go
No one who murders a police officer should ever be allowed to escape
justice. Even if the investigation
must be handed down to the next generation of officers and investigators
or continued on personal time in retirement, it should never be closed.
Unfortunately, that is not always possible. Sometimes, it is just out of
On May 2, 1973 New Jersey State Troopers James Harper and Werner Foerster
were patrolling the New Jersey Turnpike in the area of East Brunswick.
They stopped a car with three occupants.
The Troopers were questioning the occupants when the driver and female
passenger suddenly came up with semi-automatic pistols and opened fire.
Trooper Foerster was struck twice in the chest, and Trooper Harper was hit
in the shoulder. The female then proceeded to take the service weapon from
the injured Trooper
Foerster. She pointed it at the wounded Trooper and shot him
twice in the head,
execution style. The thirty-four-year-old trooper with just three years on
the road died soon after. He left a wife and family behind.
Fortunately, Trooper Harper survived.
The three were apprehended a short time later.
In 1977 the female shooter was convicted and sentenced to life plus 26
to 33 years in prison. She was incarcerated in the Edna Mahan Correctional
Facility for Women in Hunterdon County. This facility is more commonly
known today as Clinton.
On November 2, 1979 in the daylight hours this convicted murderer was
serving her time in Clinton when she was taken from her cell to
the visitor’s area to meet with four people who had come to see her. It
was a setup. The four visitors took a Corrections Officer hostage. They
then took a prison driver hostage. Using the hostages, the visitors helped
She eluded capture for several years until 1986 when she made her way to
Cuba. There she was granted political asylum. She has been there
Today, this woman goes by the name Assata Shakur. We know her as
It’s been seventeen years now. Photos coming out of Cuba show Chesimard
to be a smiling, happy, fit, and seemingly well-rested tourist on an
extended vacation. Not a care in the world. In fact, she’s even written
five books which are carried by major American booksellers such as
Amazon.com, Borders, and Barnes and Noble.
The good folks over at the NY Times even found their way to review her
book which most definitely boosted sales. "A deftly written book... a
spellbinding tale." -New York Times Book Review
On counter-culture websites she is celebrated as a revolutionary. Being
the aunt of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur has only furthered her status.
Seventeen years. For seventeen years this excrement has been living on an
Island in the Caribbean. Granted, Cuba might not be the first choice for
retirement, but chances are with her American fugitive status she has not
been bothered too much by the Communist Government.
Several attempts have been made to diplomatically bring her back. Some of
these were stagnated by our own government.
In 1998 the US House of
Representatives passed a unanimous resolution urging Castro to return
Chesimard to the United States. When the vote went to the floor it was
worded using the name Joanne Chesimard, not Assata Shakur. After the vote,
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D) from California realized that they were one and the
same. She immediately wrote a letter to Fidel Castro explaining that she
was purposely duped by Republicans. She stated that had she realized that
Chesimard and Shakur were one and the same, she would have voted against
the resolution citing her belief that Chesimard was “persecuted as a
result of her political beliefs and political affiliations.” “I
support the right of all nations to grant political asylum to individuals
fleeing political persecution.” Excuse my French, but what a piece
Talk about sending mixed messages. It’s not certain which is scarier;
the fact that a United States Congresswoman would be opposed to the
extradition of someone who murdered one police officer and wounded
another, or the fact that a United States Congresswoman casts her very
powerful vote on issues when she is completely unaware of the facts. With
this type of contradiction coming from our own government, it is no
surprise that Chesimard still basks in the sun.
Chesimard will be fifty-six years old this July. It has been twenty-four
years since she escaped to freedom and seventeen years since she took up
new residence in Cuba. There is no investigation left to be done. She has
already been convicted and sentenced.
In 2000, we went through the Elian
Gonzalez fiasco. Our government followed the law in deciding to return him
to Cuba. We respect their law while they don’t respect ours. Did our
Government even try to set up a backroom deal to have Chesimard returned?
Probably not. What about our Governor, two Senators, and thirteen House
Representatives? Is having Chesimard returned on the plate of any of our
This is not just a lesson in history. Joanne Chesimard murdered a police
officer. She shot and seriously wounded another. Imagine what the scene
must have looked like to responding backup officers. Imagine the blood,
the cries of pain, the sight of Troopers in uniform crying, the knock at
the doors, the families completely losing it upon receiving the news, the
chaos at the hospital, the pronouncement, the task of sitting down with
children, and later the funeral.
Joanne Chesimard needs to pay for her crimes. She needs to be brought to
justice. As mentioned earlier, some attempts were made several years back, but nothing seems to
be going on now. Pressure must be applied to our representatives to
re-visit this issue and put it back on the front page. Our Government can
work miracles when they want to. We have to make them want to. Joanne
Chesimard has been free for twenty-four years. She murdered a police
officer! She murdered a police officer! She murdered a police officer!
If the Government won't take action, then every local in this state should
contribute monies to fund a trip to Cuba by family members and Troopers to
personally meet with Fidel Castro and plead for her
Below is a link to reach the email page for the Governor. We ask
that everyone reading this take the time and drop him a note expressing
your outrage and your insistence that action be taken. Remember too
that this tragedy occurred long before Governor McGreevey was in
office. His email page
is a bit lengthy, but well worth the time. After all, if it was you on
that motor vehicle stop back in 1973 you would want us to to do it for you
and your family.
let us know when you send him an email.
We will keep track and post
how many emails have been sent)
share your thoughts on all aspects of the Joanne Chesimard issue
observations at the scene to opinions on attempts to get her back.
you want, you can even send in a copy of the email you sent to the
Governor to be posted.
opinions will be considered, we will not post any messages that are
bash any ethnic group or that are clearly of an
anti-law enforcement agenda.
of letters actually sent to
are highlighted in this color
think it is a outrage that you don't get the facts strait. When
explaining the way she picked up a gun and shot two bullet, you leave
much detail out; in my opinion you lack in detail, which even makes
you far fetched story even more hard to believe. I have done much
research on the topic and read many diffrent reports. In one report a
New Jersy police officers says she was convicted with first degree
murder. then in the next sentence states they were unable to figure
out who fired the faltal shot to his head. So, how can you convict a
person of first degree murder when you are unsure who fired the last
bullet. Regardless of the statement that situation is still exstremly
skeptical. Becuase how can a person fire a shot and pick up a gun when
she was so badly injured. the facts don't add up. Not to metion the
jury was all white and as a act of deperation the juge refused many
appeals and refused her to act as a co-consal. I believe they refused
becuase of the strog impacked she had made in her previous
trials..Also another thing to look at is the facted that 7 prevous
trails were dimised and acquited. In the last trial which was the
"Cop killer" trial it was a act of deperation and the riged
trial sented her guilty.Also a man,Stanley Cohen,part of her defines
team died of "natrual cause" when he had come up on hard
core evidence that showed the inosence of Assata Shakur. Then when the
NJ police dapartment went to envestagate the hard core evidence had
disaperd "magicaly." so get you facts strait and
reserch you facts as I have mine! P.S I do believe it is sad that the
mans family is fatherless becuase no son or dauter should grow up that
"At the time of this shooting I was a member of the NYPD Intelligence
Division and we had many investigations involving them. The Department
also lost Officers that were ambushed by the BLA. Joanne Chesimard
conceived a child while in the detention cell with another Black
Panther. (I forget his name at the moment). She had no regard for any
law enforcement agency and was found guilty of her crimes. She should
be extradited, it is long overdue."
"I have done my fair share of reading about Assata Shakur, and
political refugees in Cuba. I still have many questions regarding the
entire incident, but the one that puzzles me most is the fact we have 77
political refugees in Cuba. Why do we keep singling out Ms. Shakur
being extradited back to the US? I understand that she committed are
horrendous crime. I give sympathy to the family and friends that
lost loved ones that day. But we need to remember that there are 77
other refugees in Cuba, 68 of which that have hijacked air planes.
Why are we concentrating on getting one person back to the US. Is it
because of her race? It is definitely not based on the severity of the
crime. Are you aware of the fact she was confined in a men's prison,
under 24 hour surveillance? Forensic evidence showed that she was shot in
the back with her hands in the air. I am by no means justifying Ms.
Shakur. As an American I pride myself on our legal system.
People in jail get better treatment than people in the military. (I'm
talking from experience now.) But do you really agree with extraditing Ms.
Shakur back to the US, she has indeed suffered as well. Also, Ms.
Shakur has never admitted to shooting that policeman. The only gun
found was on the her accomplice, who was fatally shot. This
testimony you have conjured up has many loopholes. If you were that
police officer and you saw a woman with a pistol and a man that was
unarmed, do you mean to tell me you would shoot the man first? Absolutely
not. I truly hope that the governor gets my message in time. I
find this statement you have posted to be incorrect. Maybe the next
time you choose to post something to this nature online, you will first do
I am a Criminal Justice major, a single mother, and a woman of
color. The Blank Panther Party was a very powerful group, which
underwent major scrutiny by the government and major cover ups. People of
color to this day are not treated fairly, Ms. Shakur stated she was the
one who was shot while her hands were raised in the air, and many of the
stories have conflicting details. I do believe anyone affiliated with the
Black Panther party was watched and singled out, do we know for sure this
woman killed these officers in cold blood? Yes it is a shame about their
families, and my heart goes out to them, however, NJ has the reputation of
racial profiling NOW, I can only imagine what it was like then. Ms.
Shakur should have been tried by a jury of her peers, she stated she was
tried by an all white jury. A person can not be tried for the same
crime twice, but based on the fact it was the Civil Rights era and Ms.
Shakur did not have a fair trial maybe the case can be re-tried, with a
multi ethnic jury, and evidence that was not able to be presented at that
time. If Ms. Shakur knows she would get a new trial, and a fair trial
maybe she would then come back. Should it be shown again that Ms.
Shakur is guilty, then she should be returned to prison. Thank you
for your time...your article was interesting and well written and I
respect it, even if I may not agree with its entire contents."
"Hon. Governor McGreevey,
accept this as a request that you consider lending your support to the New
Jersey State Police and the family of Tpr. Werner Foerster, in their
efforts to extradite Joanne Chesimard (AKA: Assata Shakur) from
was convicted of murdering Tpr. Foerster in 1977 and escaped from the Edna
Mahan Correctional Facility in 1979. She has lived in Cuba and has
effectively evaded extradition for some time, despite that attempts have
been made to effect her capture, by various agencies, since her
whereabouts became known.
am aware that these circumstances existed long before you became the
Governor, and it is unfortunate that you must inherit such unpleasant and
lingering issues. I do believe, however, that your support can only
positively reinforce the resolve of those seeking to bring Chesimard to
am confident that you, too, will find it unfair that a fugitive cop-killer
should enjoy the bountiful life of a celebrated author living her dream
while some, on our own shores, struggle simply to exist.
you, Sir, for your valuable time in this matter. I avail myself to
you, at the address above, should any questions or comments arise."
"Honorable Governor McGreevey,
I am writing you to ask for your assistance in a very serious matter that seems to be almost forgotten.
In 1973 New Jersey State Troopers James Harper and Werner Foerster were gunned down by Joanne Chesimard. Trooper Foerster died from his injuries.
Joanne Chesimard was later sentenced to prison but escaped in 1979. She has been free ever since. All reports indicate that she is now living in Cuba.
Governor, it has been too long. Joanne Chesimard has had freedom now for 24 years, and it's becoming a forgotten issue. I write to you today to ask that you take this issue on like no Governor has done before. I ask, with all respect, that, if necessary, you go to Cuba to get her back. This is the most important issue to New Jersey's law enforcement community.
New Jersey is facing some tough times. Unfortunately, there is not much in the way of good news that you can share due to our state going through a valley in the economic cycle. And, as there is no great boom on the horizon, this would be an excellent opportunity for you to accomplish something that every Governor since Chesimard's escape could not do.
Even if you were unsuccessful, your efforts would be most appreciated by myself and every other man and woman who works in the law enforcement field.
I thank you for your time, and I hope to be reading about this issue in the newspaper. If I may be of any assistance with this issue, please
use the attached contact information to reach me any time. Thank you again."
"I would think that this is a job for Special Ops. We know that the
Cuban government if you want to call it that, will not return her. They
did it in Pakistan a few years ago. I think they could do it now."
"This is an outrage...this scumbag murders and apparently gets away
with it...Don't worry sweetheart, your gonna pay one way or another.
In this life or the next. Someone at some point is coming for you.
I'm sure the officers family's can take some satisfaction knowing that in
this world you can run but you can't hide."
When you accept a law enforcement position you also accept certain
risks. These come both on and off duty. This is one of the reasons that
law officers are given the very rare privilege, especially in New
Jersey, of carrying firearms when not working. While we all don’t
exercise this privilege all of the time, it’s nice to be able to put
on a weapon when going out with your family to an area where you just
might run into persons with whom you have dealt during the performance
of your duties.
Corrections officers, by far, have the most dealings with not just the
criminally dangerous but the criminally insane of our society. They deal
with them every day they go to work. The ridiculous part
of this is that they are the only group that is not, as a whole,
permitted to carry weapons when off duty. We have all run into bad guys
when not working, and most of the time nothing happens. However, there
are times where things can go bad. By New Jersey statute, corrections
officers are allowed to carry weapons off duty, but in certain counties
CO’s are prohibited from exercising this privilege.
The reason for this prohibition is unclear. Certainly, there has been no
rash of incidents with armed, off-duty corrections officers or at least
no more than those of police, sheriffs and other officers. If there is a
particular officer that poses a threat if allowed to carry a weapon, he
or she shouldn’t be an officer, the same way with any other law
enforcement agency. Get rid of them. However, this prohibition probably
has more to do with “Let’s not change the way something has always
been.” Unfortunately, that rule is not made by someone working a pod,
and that rule is just not fair and just not right.
We live in a dangerous time. There are more guns on the street than ever
before. New Jersey is also beginning to see a growing presence of gangs.
We could go on and on with a laundry list of reasons why CO’s should
be permitted to carry off duty, but we won’t. You already know
NJLawman is simply a media outlet and not in a position to wage this
fight. However, due to the many emails we have received from CO’s
around the state, we have decided to try and bring this issue to the
forefront. This article will mean nothing if it is not acted upon. The
only people who can act upon this are the corrections guys and girls
themselves. Several weeks from now this article will fade from interest,
but this issue will remain.
Therefore, we have decided to provide every tool possible to get this
thing going. First, we did this article to try and get the word out. It
will be read by CO’s from Bergen County to Cape May County. Just in
case, email this link to every CO you know. Second, we have
created a message board dedicated to this issue. We will keep it up as
long as it is being utilized. On this board, CO’s from all over the
state can compare notes, exchange contact information, organize, and
prepare to take on this issue. The only doorway to this message board
will be by clicking
here. We do this to keep the board accessible to all, but those with
no interest in this issue will probably not have read this far into this
article. CO’s reading this are urged to contact their union hierarchy
and colleagues and advise them of this board. Again, email the link to
every CO in your address book even if your county has no such weapons
prohibition. You might be needed by these other guys. Any other groups,
individuals, or organizations that can offer support can do so on this
board as well.
Finally, we suggest that the affected locals organize. The PBA and FOP
locals must put their differences aside and work together. The best
chance for change is if all of your voices are united. It can’t be a
dual fight being waged by separate unions, organizations, persons, and
entities. The PBA and FOP Presidents in all of the affected
counties are urged to contact each other as soon as possible and
schedule a meeting. Together they should team up and begin a crusade to
correct this situation. Undoubtedly, they will be able to find support
from some local state senators and assemblymen looking for a cause. They
are offered this website for any and all postings that may be needed.
They could even simultaneously begin a petition drive. There is a lot of
room here for creativity in waging this fight, as it has never yet been
To all who have sent us emails on this issue, we have done everything we
could think of. While we would welcome suggestions for more, the rest is
up to you. Good luck, and, again, let us know if you need anything.
"I am a CO that does not have the agency
approved right to carry. Again, agency approval doesn't mean the right
to carry off duty under state law . I'm going to continue to carry off
duty and don't care about what my agency says about it. As long as
it's a good shoot the only thing I can loose is my job for violating
agency policy. I'll run that risk at the benefit of protecting myself
and my family (and perhaps assisting a fellow officer on the road in a
back up situation) vs. being gunned down against an ex-inmate that
identifies me in the open and is carrying without care or regard for
the law. Don't fear your agency as you are a peace officer under NJ
state law and a good shoot is your protection."
"In response to the April 17th article by a
Passaic County JDO....
I think everyone understands your reservations to kill or injure a
juvenile, a child, and it's understandable that you don't feel that
you should carry a gun. What you haven't considered, however, is
that it's not only YOU that you're sworn to protect. If you want
to be considered a law enforcement officer then you have to assume the
responsibility that comes with the title. This means getting
involved even if it's not your fight !!! You'd make it
much further with a weapon than with bare hands.
We're all cops here. Nobody wants to kill and adult, much less a
child...but, and this is a BIG BUT...NOBODY wants to die. If you
don't want to carry a gun, no cop that I've ever met would force you
to, but don't interfere with the rights of others. They still
deserve to be protected, whether you want to or not."
"I am an officer with the Middlesex County
DOC. I am impressed with this article, and everyone seems to be
pleased, but who is reading this? Probably not the freeholders.
The only people I know of that are reading this are other officers.
Its time to move forward, rather than just talking about this. Major
changes need to be made. If you give a person a police academy, police
power, a uniform, and no weapon, its saying nothing for corrections
everywhere. I'm embarrassed as an officer, that I cant carry a gun.
And I'm sure there are a lot of others who feel the same way. Its hard
to take pride in something you love when your working in a department
"I am been a Municipal Police Officer for
18 years. During my time on the road I have seen a steady decline in
the unity amongst law enforcement officers as a whole. I have the utmost
respect for corrections officers and the jobs which they do. I believe
you have to consider the officers regardless whether they are Police
Officer, Trooper, or a CO.
The badge or the triangle or the shield don't make the man or woman.
When I see a Police Officer, Trooper, or a CO I give them respect
regardless of the uniform. When we bleed its all the same color.
There is no secret to the fact that there are enough bad guns out
there and we could use a more good guns in the right hands. We all
have the right to protect ourselves and the public at large. If an
officer has the training and certifications they should be able to
carry a firearm off duty. Our jobs are difficult enough without the
threat of becoming a victim from someone we have encountered in the
line of duty. Allow our brothers and sisters the right to protect
themselves while off duty. Just remember when your on the side
of road one day and in harms way and a CO pulls over to help you out you'll
be glad they have the right to carry and suddenly they wont seem so
"To all my fellow brothers and sisters in
Law Enforcement, keep up the good work that you do. As an employee of
The State of New Jersey-Juvenile Justice Commission. I hear you all
loud and clear and I strongly agree with you all. You have done all
the proper training and you cant even protect yourself and your family
and innocent people when in need. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. Be safe out
"As a NJ State C/O, I think this article is
great. All NJ C/O'S should be able to carry off duty. There are 2 or 3
counties out there that still can't and I hope they get that issue
resolved soon. I have 2 years in and I've run into one inmate so far
and I had just secured my weapon in my friend's office at his garage.
When the inmate saw me, he recognized me right away. Naturally, I
didn't know who he was. Luckily nothing happened and he moved on down
the road. But I'm one of the many that has the option of carrying off
duty, not everyone in this state does and it needs to addressed
including the first year recruits for the NJDOC and the JJC. They
should not be required to wait. You graduate, you earn the right to
protect yourself. Be safe all!"
"Just returned from Washington, DC
following the corrections officer's caucus. We met with our respective
delegations of New Jersey and discussed many of our issues and
concerns nationally. It was our opportunity to address and request the
introduction and support of federal legislation that would ultimately
pass our agenda. Staffing levels, collective bargaining, and
anti-privatization of our nation's prison were on the table. During
these meetings we were fortunate to address the concerns of our
officer's forever tiring efforts to regain the right to carry a
concealed weapon off duty. The delegation was very receptive, however,
if you don't know, local issues must be dealt with on a state to state
basis. We were advised to contact our state assemblyman /
assemblywoman and express our concerns to them as well. There are
state professional lobbyists that push agendas for local enforcement
agencies. Their focus is to push for state legislation that enhances
the well-being and safety of new jersey's law enforcement officers. As
long as I can remember, this avenue has never been considered. it is
one that we have not exhausted, and should be given our utmost
attention at this juncture. We have endured more than a decade
struggle with this issue. We would be reluctant not to pursue this
option today. I have posted this information on behalf of my brothers
and sisters of the NJ SATE PBA 152 officer's union.
-Sgt. J. Crandall
-NJ STATE PBA 152
"Recently, while in the mall off duty I saw
a ex-con that was in the Middlesex County Jail. Nothing happened, but
you never know what will happen if you see someone you had a problem
with on the inside. The encounter will forever stay with me being that
it was my first encounter with a ex-con while off duty. I wondered why
so many guys thought it was a big issue to carry off duty. Now I
understand what the big deal is. We as correction officer's never know
what is going to happen when we encounter a ex-con off duty. Anything
can happen, these guys don't like us. They simply don't like the law
period. It is to our benefit to carry off duty. It is for our safety
and for the safety of our loved ones that we carry off duty. Simply
put, its there is no reason why we shouldn't carry off duty. We took
the same oath as street cops. According to our 2C book, we have the
same authority as a police officer. On our identification it says that
we have full police power. The only power we don't have is the power
to carry off duty. This needs to change and I as a law enforcement
officer don't see any reason why we shouldn't have the right to carry
-Rookie Correction's Officer
"I totally agree with this article. I
feel all CO's should be able to carry off duty. I'm a SC State CO. At
the institutions I'm at, the Major like for all the officers is to get
there conceal weapon permit. I already sent off my CWP and I'll be getting
it this week, and I'm still a rookie. All law enforcement officers
should be aloud to carry when off duty, especially all CO's no matter
what state your from. We as CO's don't get the respect nor
recognition like we should be. We get threatened by these inmates who
will be getting out some day, and we CO's need to be able to protect
our families and ourselves. If these criminals have committed
violent crimes and murder they don't care about taking our lives. I
have been threatened by an inmate already. CO's have the hardest jobs
in law enforcement. When the police catch these criminals and
they are found guilty in a court of law, the criminals are brought to
us. I'm not putting down the police officers who do a good job
and catch these criminals. We are all law enforcement brothers,
sisters and a family no matter what state your in. I hope all you CO's
in NJ get through this and will be able to carry off duty in all
counties. I'm from NJ and I know a few CO's that work at the
state prisons, county jails and juvenile centers. The CO that
works in the county jail carries of duty, and the one that's at the
state prison also carries off duty. I pray for all my CO
brothers and sisters keep your head up and I hope all of yall will be
able to work this problem out to carry off duty god bless all of
"10 years as a NJ State CO, I have carried
for 9, I have used my law enforcement powers to affect a few arrests,
I have also been the "extra" body at many roadside motor
vehicle stops @ 3am when my brother & sister Police Persons are
out there on the road with no back-up, many of us from the NJDOC have
done the same, also saving lives in armed robberies, car-jackings,
assaults & even rape! Maybe if one of these politicians can
imagine themselves or one of their loved ones as the victims of one
these acts of "Domestic Terrorism" they wouldn't be so quick
to get a "Pat on the Behind from the ACLU"! Then again
without a gun I can still go to court and testify "Yes your Honor
I saw the politicians family member being held by force at gun point
and watched them get raped, but what was I supposed to do, I'm just a
dumb prison guard, I told the man to stop or I'll.... ?? or I'll,
Mmmmmmm, stick my hand in my jacket and pretend to shoot you with my
imaginary gun! Sarcastic yes, Reality "YES"! To the
politicians with their heads in the sand, last time I looked
Corrections Officers in New Jersey make up the "MAJORITY" of
Law Enforcement Officers state wide. Hey; do what you gotta do but
when the "S" hits the fan like it did on 9-11, DON'T COME
CRYING TO US!
PS: We are underpaid & understaffed, we get
assaulted on a daily basis, our contracts are crap, the public has NO
CLUE what we do, so go ahead take everything away, but what would you
do if all us Prison & Jail Guards walked out?? Maybe you can get
the security guards from the airport the who let terrorists on planes
run the Prisons! Wont be too soon before Jessie the Tree Jumping Baby
Rapist Murderer can come play in your back yard!!"
"Until model legislation is introduced to
prevent this severe dilemma, dept. heads and administrators will
continue to strip you of your sworn peace officer status. you may want
to start with contacting your lobbyists. they are responsible for the
legislative efforts regarding your dilemma. you must find out who they
are. then, and only then will you have an avenue to push your agenda.
your warden is a very ignorant man. a social worker i think someone
mentioned he was prior to being appointed warden. you have to expose
this man publicly. there is certainly a message to be sent here. I'm
sure the local newspapers would jump at the chance to write this
story. I'm surprised this wasn't on your agenda already. best of luck.
we stand united and in support of your efforts."
-Family member of a slain
"Not only are the corrections officers
having this problem, but the NJ State Rangers are also. We can
carry on duty, but once we are off we can't protect ourselves if we
run into "Joe shit bag"..... I don't see how it makes any
sense to not allow sworn law enforcement officers the right to carry.
WE ALL EARNED IT!"
"The time has come to shit or get off the
pot!! We need to get the message across in a manner that would draw an
extensive amount of attention. Enough is enough!! Off duty corrections
officers have fell victim to Politics in Middlesex County. The
hard-working county tax payer in Middlesex County needs to know that
the elected freeholders have sold out public safety. The residents of
Middlesex County and North Brunswick Twp. need to be alerted that
there are more than 200 law enforcement officers working for the
Department of Corrections have been denied they're right to carry off
duty. Each corrections officer in Middlesex County has successfully
completed a New Jersey State certified police academy in order to
obtain the position with the DOC. I wonder if the North Brunswick
Residents who reside in those luxury homes along Riva Avenue (directly
behind the County jail) know what the Freeholders have subjected them
to. Public safety depends on law enforcement officers to maintain
constant security of they're respective municipalities, On and off
duty in the State of New jersey. However, the Middlesex County Board
of Chosen Freeholders have taken a firm position to prohibit the 200
qualified corrections officers from carrying off duty. Off duty
Corrections officers sacrifice they're lives everyday, maintaining
custody and control of inmate populations across the nation in the
line of duty. They protect the public from inmate escapes, insuring
the comfort and safety of county and municipal residents. However, the
one thing that has been eliminated is the right for a Middlesex County
off duty Corrections officer to protect themselves and they're
families. We are confronted daily by ex-inmates, once incarcerated at
our facility. Off duty corrections officers are subjected to potential
retaliation by disgruntled ex-inmates and gang members. We all live in
areas of Middlesex County where we have been either confronted or
identified ex-inmates. Statistics continue to prove off duty
corrections officers are targeted by ex-inmates."
-Anonymous Sgt.-Middlesex County
- PBA 152-A
"I simply fail to understand why the
Freeholders of Middlesex County and others like them have not yet
figured out that, since the very nature of their position requires
their officers to qualify with firearms twice annually anyway, the
expense of allowing off duty carry would be minimal. Let's face
it, any officer interested in carrying off duty would gladly purchase
their own weapon and ammunition and those that aren't interested
really aren't affected at all. The NJDOC created a list of
acceptable models and calibers of off-duty handguns, which
successfully restricts their officers to carrying at least marginally
reliable guns and effective rounds...at no cost to the State.
Why cannot Middlesex County do the same? Is it too difficult to
ask NJDOC for a copy and then adopt it? Even if they required
the same guns and ammo as are used on duty, to eliminate an
"extra" qualification time, they would be affording their
officers at least a fighting chance. Reasonably, the officers
must also understand that the dollar is a deciding factor everywhere
and those "famous" few who want not only to carry but to
carry for free should put their priorities in line and realize that a
great many Municipal Police Officers wind up buying our own off duty
weapons too. If the expense is the real issue in Middlesex County then
such a compromise would make your argument that much more solid.
Let's remember that the more friendly guns there are the better all of
our chances are. After all, the criminals allow their troops to
carry...why don't we?
Middlesex County...grow up. Get into the 21st Century. All
of your officers are potential targets and must be able to protect
themselves and their families. Contrary to popular belief, it is
next to impossible for us (local PD) to arrive "in
time". Your people endure the worst of the worst to protect
you. Now protect them. Fair is fair. If you think
it's too expensive, wait until someone gets hurt and see how cheap
that is. Have you any doubt that each and every one of these
articles will show up in Court?"
"Thank you for this excellent
article to this serious topic. Hopefully this
article and reactions will help pave the
way to our right to carry and protect ourselves and family from the
criminals we deal with on a daily basis. Maybe if I wore a suit to
work and not a blue uniform and hide in the office everyday i would
not care either, since that man never wore the uniform anyway. I'm
sure if these political cronies wore the blue 40 hours a week ,we
would not be talking about this topic.
"There are three reasons why corrections
officers in Middlesex county can not and will not carry
firearms...money, denial, and money. The warden and freeloaders
deny that we are true law enforcement officers and the almighty
dollar. We are the only dept. in Middlesex to actually turn a
profit for the county and yet we still do get the most basic training
that is done while on duty. Not one extra penny spent on the
people who deal with the dirt ball all star team every day. Why don't
the freeloaders take one tenth of the money we earn them by housing
INS detainees and spend it on firearms and other training.
answer...they sold everything else in the county and can't afford it.
they know not what we do...why should they care?"
-Anon Sgt. at the MCDOC
"Let us all in law enforcement unite
together and publicly approach the politicians and expose them to the
very citizens we protect. No double talking politician would
have the guts to stand up against law enforcement and the
public. Count me in!"
"Let's just hope that the next time Dave
Crabiel is about to be the victim of a crime, there is an off duty
correction officer who can't carry his weapon standing next to
him...think about it!!!"
"The bottom line here is law enforcement
administrators and dept. heads do not do what you do, could not do
what you do, and never had to do what you do. it's also what we call
the nature of the beast. I know my warden can carry a concealed
firearm, but his rank and file can not. government needs to check
themselves with regards to qualifications of such an appointment. Here's
a start: you must have law enforcement experience!!! it makes me sick
to think anyone could be put in a position to manage a department when
he or she has never been in the trenches themselves. to know it...is
to do it!!! to understand it...is to do it!!! how dare ye cast a stone
from a plushy office of glass. walk with us on that thin blue line. I
guess some of them didn't attend the same cop-to-cop seminar. but then
again, why would they. I
feel for you at Middlesex County."
"The death of the Fair Lawn Police Officer
the recent deaths of 2 NYPD Dets. just goes to show what law
enforcement in our area are up against; insane criminals that carry
firearms and would rather take a life to get away then go back to a
place we (Corrections Officers) house them. I just can't stop thinking
about what would have happened if an off duty CO (no weapon) came upon
this scene. I can give you my opinion though. I would have no doubt
that that CO would have been powerless to help a fallen brother and
sister, but would have tried regardless and the article we all woke up
to this morning would have read this way; A POLICE OFFICER AND AN OFF
DUTY CORRECTION OFFICER......No need to say anymore."
"As a concerned wife of a Correctional
Officer, the right to carry off duty needs to be allowed. I don't know
these fools that are lurking in the streets who may be plotting to do
something to my husband or our family. It is a very uncomfortable
feeling to know this and be without protection. These inmates are
ticked off because something in their life made them this way. Now
they have to do time which adds more pent up frustration. So now they
release their anger on the first people that they see while locked up,
the CO's, not the Warden or the County Freeholders. The CO's have to
be able to protect themselves and their family from these inmates when
off duty. They are dealing with individuals that are mad with the
world! Inmates start fights with each other and CO's to try to get the
upper hand or to feel in control. Just imagine what they are capable
of in the streets. They have access to weapons and can follow through
on their threats. The CO's aren't the ones making life decisions for
them because of their behavior. Due to the unpredictability of an
inmate, CO's should be able to carry off duty weapons. I want my
husband to be able to protect us, if it came down to it, from these
criminals. Calling 911 from a cell phone, when you have an Officer
right there who can react, is insane...that's if you can get good
-Very Concerned Wife of a
"Great article. I have seen released
inmates at malls, movie theaters and restaurants. What is amazing is
that they see you before you see them. They have seen me with my
family and luckily they did not start an altercation, but who knows
what is going on in the back of their minds. We are sitting ducks for
these inmates who are gang members or INS detainees who might have
some terrorist ties. We have no clue what type of individuals maybe
lurking or stalking us due to our profession. "What should I
do?", call a municipal cop that went to the same police academy
as I did or wait for an individual to injure or kill me or my family.
Then it is too late for answers. There is not a person who will not
protect their family and their own life to the end. Yes, we
should have the right to carry off duty or be given the option to
carry off duty. The inmates don't know the County Freeholders or the
Warden. They know the Correctional Officers that they have one on one
contact with everyday."
"Here is a slightly different view on
C/O's. I work as a Juvenile Detention officer in Passaic County.. and I'm
sorry, but when I'm off duty and walking the streets of Paterson for
whatever reason, I see these drug, rapist, murderers on the streets
talking about they are going to have me hit. I get threats left and
right in the detention center about how they will attack me on the
streets when they get out. Even one of our Sr. officers got beat up
real badly on the streets because the Sr. officer gave the resident
room time while he was locked up. I agree that we do not deserve guns
because I still think that shooting a juvenile is not the answer, but
I do believe we could have a little more than hand cuffs and a glove
pouch. There have been many times were I stopped a resident from
stabbing me with a shank. I'm just speaking out about those who work
as a Juvenile detention officer.. We are still under law enforcement
and to this day, I have no protection on the streets when these kids
get out.. they are no better than the adults that are locked up in the
county jail. Any one have a view on this please leave a
"It is appalling that in this day and age
of international terrorism, in the very shadows of the fallen World
Trade Centers that sworn law enforcement officers are being denied the
right to carry. This flies in the face of Homeland Security, it flies
in the face of public safety, it flies in the face of protecting our
families and ourselves, and it flies in the face of logic. In the
United States Correctional Officers have been gunned down in the
streets, targeted for hits, and assaulted in their own communities
merely because they are brave enough and courageous enough to be
Correctional Officers. These are facts, they are the facts that all
Correctional Officers live with. Shame on anyone or any organization
who would be so short sighted and ill-informed to deny this right.
-Exec Director, Corrections USA
"I agree with the article, as I am sure all
of my fellow officers do in Middlesex County. It is a shame that under
New Jersey law we are Law Enforcement but to our own freeholders we
are not recognized as such. We all need to take a stand and support
PBA Local 152
"Middlesex County has 200+ officers who
must go thru a academy and qualify with a firearm to obtain their job.
The warden at Middlesex has no academy training, no experience(
walking a TIER!!), but he can protect his family because he can carry
off duty. while the 200+ officers must all get promoted to the rank of
SGT to carry off duty. So I ask
who is in charge of the jail, the warden or the freeholders??!!"
"Totally agree with the article 100
percent, maybe we need to educate the Freeholders about all aspects of
our job and relay to them that WE ARE Law Enforcement, maybe they don't
know any better."
"Great article! I feel that the county
issues need to be fixed, then the NJDOC'S one year policy should be
"There is nothing else to be said.
You have made your point very clear in your article. I hope the powers
that be get rid of their egos and political pawns and move towards
doing what's right and correct for those Correctional Officers that
put their life on the line day in and day out everyday."
"CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS HAVE THE MOST DANGER
AND THE LEAST GLAMOUR IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, THIS CLOWN FREEHOLDER CAN BE
VOTED OUT OF OFFICE BY POWER OF AN EDUCATED AND OUTSPOKEN PUBLIC ON THIS
PERSONAL ISSUE FOR CO'S."
"Great article and no one knows better then
the Officers at Middlesex County where we the Officers are not allow to
carry off duty due to someone showing his his Freeholders Power."
"This article hits the nail right on the
head. Especially the part about the particular officers who pose a
threat. They should punished...not the entire department.
Hopefully those who need to read this article do."
"I'D like to thank you for shedding light on
this particular subject. We need to show some of our brother C/O's are
being denied their basic right under 2C!"
-PBA Local 152
"Great article with great points!! Let hope
it falls on the right ears! Let's support our fellow officers!"
-PBA Local 152
"Thank you for bringing this issue to this
forum. I hope C/O's use the message board and let it be known where they
stand on this issue."
-PBA Local 152
"Great article, I hope this will help. This issue really
needs to be addressed."
"Only one word can explain the article,