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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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How do we know the officer overstepped her authority. Is anyone here a cop or is an expert on police procedure. I don't mean a lawyer either because a lawyer does not know what the proper police response is for everything. What we have here is a nosey body someone who wanted to see what was going on and interferred. Maybe we should just let the cops do thier jobs and not watch from a " substanial distance". Because we all know that if it had been something serious like a murder nobody would want to get involved.

Posted on: 2010/11/17 5:04
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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I think the best resolution to this might be just to ask for a 1-1 chat with the officer.

I don't think you'll get a public apology from the JCPD. Officer Menendez might give you an "off-the-record" apology or explanation.

With no one hurt and no crime, difficult to see any other outcome.

Posted on: 2010/11/17 3:38
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Yes, I would stand up again for the rights that are very clearly granted to us by the law. It has been one month since my statement was taken at the precinct, and I have not heard back about the results of their "investigation". It is essential that the those charged with protecting us are obedient to the law, judicious in its enforcement and professional in their conduct. As I told the investigating officer last month, all I want from Officer Jessica Melendez is an apology that admits her error in conduct, which is what I asked for the night of the incident, and what she could have given when she tacitly confronted me at the police station when I gave my statement. Remarkably, an apology, even if her brethren finds she's culpable--hard to imagine-- seems totally out of the question.

Posted on: 2010/11/16 5:48
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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It always infuriates me to read accounts like these. Cops clearly use bystanders to blow off steam. It's even more ridiculous because your photographs had been used to advance the investigation in the first place, and that's the thanks you get.

If you had to do it again, would you continue to take photos and risk the consequences of a physical confrontation, your camera getting smashed, or possible arrest, in order to prove the point?

Posted on: 2010/11/3 15:36
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Quote:

yourdogisbored wrote:
Yes, there is and I kept expecting him to mention that, but he never did!


There were too many things this "cop" could have done and didn't - called JC animal control, written you a ticket for breaking county dog run regulations, etc. Threathening to call the discredited local SPCA frankly sounds weak and idiotic. The Hudson SPCA going to take your dogs and put them in their closed Johnston Ave freezers? They might have been some kind of law enforcement, but I doubt they were local to the City nor County.

Posted on: 2010/10/25 0:09
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Yes, there is and I kept expecting him to mention that, but he never did!

Posted on: 2010/10/24 13:51
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Isn't there a 2-dogs/supervisor limit in that dog run?

Quote:

yourdogisbored wrote:
I had a bizarre run-in with a member of the JCPD myself recently. Nothing nearly on the level of what OP experienced, but the officer's arrogant, dismissive, and subtly aggressive manner was strikingly similar to that of Officer Melendez.

I work for a company that takes small groups of dogs to local dog parks for off-leash play time. We transport the dogs in our SUV's and all of our clients are aware that this is how they're transported. I arrived at the Lincoln Park dog run and proceeded to let the 5 dogs I had riding in the rear of my SUV out of the car. They were all leashed, they came out one at a time, and in the pack were only 2 dogs that were over 45 lbs, the other 3 are under 15 lbs each.

I walked the group into one of the entry areas, and as I was unleashing them, a detective (I assume he was a detective, as he was wearing a dress-shirt, tie, and suit jacket) walked over, showed me his badge, and asked how many dogs I'd had in the back of my car. I was confused, sure that he was going to ask me if I'd witnessed any suspicious activity in the area or something along those lines, but no. Turns out, he accused me of "cruelty to animals" for "cramming" too many dogs in the back of my car. He read the company sign on the side of my vehicle and wrote down our info, claiming he was going to file a complaint with the ASPCA! Of course I questioned him, thinking this can't be real. Surely, this detective has more important crimes he should be investigating. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that a member of the JCPD cared enough to question the welfare of the animals, however misguided he may have been in this particular instance.

Anyway, I tried to explain to him that the dogs were perfectly comfortable, I had all the windows rolled down completely & they're in the car for 15 minutes, but he just walked away, wouldn't give me a chance, wouldn't give me his name or badge info, yelling that the ASPCA was going to hear about it. A woman who was leaving park at the time with her dog came over right after he left and offered her name and number to be a witness that the officer was way out-of-line and that the dogs seemed perfectly happy, comfortable, and well-cared for. It was very weird and for a second I though I was being punked or something, but apparently this behavior is typical of the JCPD...

Posted on: 2010/10/24 11:52
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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I disagree. I think that demurely tolerating the indiscretions of the police or any civic authority, what you call "minding my own business", is not in the spirit of a democratic citizen. Turning a blind eye to what happens in our neighborhoods and our city fosters indifference about our community and how we are governed. The results of such indifference are devastating to democracy. While Officer Melendez's misconduct is a relatively minor instance, it is nonetheless important to confront. No group deserves greater scrutiny by the public than the agents charged with protecting the public--the police. Turning my camera on the police is an instance of exercising my right to watch them--a constitutional right solidly protected by the rulings of the Supreme Court. I'm concerned by your indifference to what occurs in our community. Since September 11th, and maybe before, the citizenry has retreated inward to minding its own business, while our civil liberties erode and our fear bloats. Such inwardness is totally incompatible with the fierce, nuanced critical thought that a democracy demands of its electorate. That's why we spend considerable money to educate the citizenry. And that's why I think that this, jclist.com, is a great forum to discuss what's happening in our city. While I respect the range of opinion and contention that this forum generates on any given topic, smug and terse quips belie the spirit of what this forum is about.

Posted on: 2010/10/23 6:15
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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I think the lesson to be learned from this horrible encounter would be to mind your own business next time.

Posted on: 2010/10/22 19:08
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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You're in a public place..............do as you will with your camera, its in the constitution and that's why we don't live in a Police State like some countries.

I'd write a letter to Comey and get him to please explain and what is the policy re; Camera use in Public Places.

That said, never rely on personal opinion or myths

Posted on: 2010/10/22 18:00
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Also came across this recent story: DHS: Ok to photograph Federal Builldings

Posted on: 2010/10/22 1:50
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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I had a bizarre run-in with a member of the JCPD myself recently. Nothing nearly on the level of what OP experienced, but the officer's arrogant, dismissive, and subtly aggressive manner was strikingly similar to that of Officer Melendez.

I work for a company that takes small groups of dogs to local dog parks for off-leash play time. We transport the dogs in our SUV's and all of our clients are aware that this is how they're transported. I arrived at the Lincoln Park dog run and proceeded to let the 5 dogs I had riding in the rear of my SUV out of the car. They were all leashed, they came out one at a time, and in the pack were only 2 dogs that were over 45 lbs, the other 3 are under 15 lbs each.

I walked the group into one of the entry areas, and as I was unleashing them, a detective (I assume he was a detective, as he was wearing a dress-shirt, tie, and suit jacket) walked over, showed me his badge, and asked how many dogs I'd had in the back of my car. I was confused, sure that he was going to ask me if I'd witnessed any suspicious activity in the area or something along those lines, but no. Turns out, he accused me of "cruelty to animals" for "cramming" too many dogs in the back of my car. He read the company sign on the side of my vehicle and wrote down our info, claiming he was going to file a complaint with the ASPCA! Of course I questioned him, thinking this can't be real. Surely, this detective has more important crimes he should be investigating. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that a member of the JCPD cared enough to question the welfare of the animals, however misguided he may have been in this particular instance.

Anyway, I tried to explain to him that the dogs were perfectly comfortable, I had all the windows rolled down completely & they're in the car for 15 minutes, but he just walked away, wouldn't give me a chance, wouldn't give me his name or badge info, yelling that the ASPCA was going to hear about it. A woman who was leaving park at the time with her dog came over right after he left and offered her name and number to be a witness that the officer was way out-of-line and that the dogs seemed perfectly happy, comfortable, and well-cared for. It was very weird and for a second I though I was being punked or something, but apparently this behavior is typical of the JCPD...

Posted on: 2010/10/22 0:41
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Quote:

jc73 wrote:
Ha ha, thats why I moved out. The cops in my new town are friendly. I think it's funny you went through all that trouble and nothing happened. Maybe you exaggerated what really happened, I find it hard to believe.


Instigate much?

Posted on: 2010/10/22 0:20
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Ha ha, thats why I moved out. The cops in my new town are friendly. I think it's funny you went through all that trouble and nothing happened. Maybe you exaggerated what really happened, I find it hard to believe.

Posted on: 2010/10/22 0:11
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Yeah - OP is doing the right thing by seeing it through. It may or may not yield a satisfactory outcome; but it does everyone a disservice to ignore it and leave it to chatboards. Keep up the good fight OP...

Posted on: 2010/10/21 17:31
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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There is a link to the ACLU in the beginning of this thread.. If you feel the Dept isn't doing anything, you might want to forward your case to people who can get on some people nerves..

Posted on: 2010/10/21 16:27
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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OP, thanks for posting this account. You may want to bring this to the attention of Carlos Miller, via his website. Photography Is Not A Crime

Posted on: 2010/10/21 15:45
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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This is an outrage and I commend you for pursuing the complaint even when it was made difficult for you. Police Officers need to enforce the laws that exist not make up new laws on the spot as it suits them.

Recently 3 members of my family were assaulted by police officers (not in JC). They had done absolutely nothing wrong but were harassed and eventually handcuffed by two out-of-control cops and were BEATEN WHILE IN CUFFS! One of them had to be hospitalized. Needless to say, criminal and civil charges are pending.

The reason I bring it up is that there seems to be an epidemic of rogue cops (there's even a congressional hearing on the subject in NYS) and I think it's important to stem the tide by not allowing this behavior even if it's non-violent such as the case with the OP. In other words, it's a slippery slope.

Thanks to the OP for standing up for his and all of our freedoms!

Posted on: 2010/10/21 14:47
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Thanks for your input. Despite the witness to the episode, I do not expect that the Melendez will be found to have done anything wrong.

My concern with seeing this complaint through has been the result of the initial outrage I felt with how Melendez treated me. She made it very clear that any sense of the law, an authority superior to her, was a fiction. She refused to follow the law, she refused to let me speak with her supervisor and she refused to identify herself in a professional manner. She was hostile towards me for no very good reason, and she threatened to arrest me for exercising a well-established, democratic right that she swore to protect.

Despite the fact that I will probably not have the satisfaction of an official reprimand, I am at each step of this complaint demonstrating to Officer Melendez and her cohort that citizens are not to be trampled on with impunity. Even if their punishment is mere annoyance, I feel that we must speak up, cordially and clearly, when these sorts of things happen to us.

If the police department's own protocols for dealing with this matter are deficient than it's a further embarrassment to their professionalism. Officer Melendez was not just standing around when I came in for my scheduled appointment; she was seated at the center of the desk. Nobody had the foresight to see the potential discomfort or conflict this might imply with a citizen who had just filed an IA complaint against her? It felt purposeful, and I'm sure it was: brilliantly so because if I were to confront her directly in the moment or complain later it would attest to my oversensitivity and belie the legitimacy of my complaint. More still, saying nothing implies my acknowledgment that Melendez, an officer sworn to protect me who works in my own neighborhood, is cognizant of my complaint, who I am, and she is supported by her brothers on the beat: Many against one.

It's important that these sorts of behaviors are made known, even at this relatively minor level. I fear what these details may suggest about what happens inside the police force that we have sworn to protect us--a force that seems very concerned with protecting itself.

Posted on: 2010/10/21 13:53
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Re: Resolution to the Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Jessica Melendez
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Quote:
At the appointed time in the afternoon, I showed up at the precinct. Officer Melendez along with several of her fellow officers were loitering around the front desk.


I'd be curious as to what time this was relative to the normal shift change. If it wasn't shift change, then these illiterates should have been out doing their jobs (whatever that means for the JCPD) and not coming back in a group during the shift for intimidation detail.

Posted on: 2010/10/21 10:52
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Re: Resolution to the Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Jessica Melendez
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Sorry, but it was unlikely you were going to get satisfaction. Absent a recording on Youtube, their bar to find a cop in error is rather high. Had there not been a tape, there's no way that NYPD cop who shouldered the cyclist to the ground would have been fired. There was a local stink here last year or so about a cop at a construction site refusing to budge when a woman ran up to him reporting an obvious car theft in progress a block away. Captain said he was within the scope of his duty.

The car was used a day later in an armed carjacking. One can only speculate on what if the owner discovered them in the act and was shot while the cop cooled his heels.

Posted on: 2010/10/21 3:43
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Resolution to the Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Jessica Melendez
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In response to the events that I detailed in my original post, I filed a formal complaint with Internal Affairs. The initial intake was professionally conducted by Detective Jackson, who after reading my narrative of Officer Jessica Melendez?s conduct, said that, if true, her behavior was egregious. Two weeks after this intake I received correspondence from the head of Internal Affairs, Captain Nixon Reyes, who closes his letter with the following half-dismissive resolve [I do not know if Capt. Reyes has any relation to Sgt. Reyes, who defended Melendez at the time of the incident]:

?While we expect our personnel to be courteous and professional in their dealings with the public, misunderstanding will occasionally take place. Your complaint will hopefully allow us to address any actual or perceived shortcomings on the part of our personnel.?

About two weeks after receiving this letter, I was contacted last week by Sgt. Hine. Evidently ?demeanor? complaints are investigated by the offending officer?s precinct commander rather than headquarters. Sgt. Hine requested a taped statement from me, and we made an appointment for me to give it at the East precinct on 7th Street.

At the appointed time in the afternoon, I showed up at the precinct. Officer Melendez along with several of her fellow officers were loitering around the front desk. Perhaps I?m paranoid, but Melendez?s presence seemed deliberately staged and subtlety intimidating. She said nothing to me, and shortly thereafter I was greeted by Sgt. Hine who was cordial. However, at the end of my statement, Sgt. Hine remarked, ?I do not want to waste anymore of your time?, which is to say that I should not waste anymore of his time. While difficult to adequately describe, I very much had the sense that all of these personnel were agitated by or dismissive of the complaint. Their behavior was tacitly aggressive: If you file a complaint against one of our officers, we will band together with her--visibly. Moreover, even though we will adhere to the protocols established to investigate your complaint, we will at the same oppose your complaint that will dissolve into ether of the bureaucracy.

In other words, the need for a citizen to redress the transgressions of a misbehaving police officer is met with a disdainful charade of concern that masks annoyance or indignation on the part of those charged with the investigation. I expected as much. Officer Melendez?s misconduct begets the infractions of even more officers who put fraternity ahead of professional accountability. What they neglect is the degree of trust and responsibility invested in them by the public who cannot afford to have fellowship put ahead of civic duty. I e-mailed councilman Fulop, but as you might expect, I haven?t received a reply. Lesson learned: never under any circumstance deal with the police without a lawyer. I don't expect Officer Melendez will be found to have done anything very wrong.

Posted on: 2010/10/21 2:30
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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As the son of a police officer and relative of others, I can assure jerseymom that not too many criminals stick a gun to one's head when a cop is anywhere nearby or likely to be (and conversely, you are on your own if it happens). Regardless, there is no reason that their public behavior shouldn't be recorded.

With respect to brewster's points, I think that you underestimate both the likelihood of crimes like muggings and their psychological impact. While many crimes are one criminal on another, that does not negate the impact of the many crimes on people like the woman that you mentioned. Also, do you really think that the risk of crime for the law abiding is "minute" around here?

There is also the outrage that many feel due to living in a state that denies people their right to effective self-defense via legally carrying firearms. To put this down to the "gun lobby" is ignorant. Rather, most people know that their risk of violent crime at any given time is low but some would like to have insurance that they can deal with it if it happens. It's much like having homeowner's insurance even though you know your house is unlikely to burn down.

Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

robotjustin wrote:
Quote:

jerseymom wrote:
Quote:
Cops are no longer the civil servants of the 1950s. They are a state-sanctioned gang of mostly low-intelligence thugs.


...until someone is sticking a gun to your head and a cop risks his/her life to save you, that is.


What a crock. The odds of being HARASSED by a cop are 1000 -1 against being helped by one.


Probably not quite 1000-1, but there's truth there. The whole police thing (and the gun lobby's) of trading on civilian fear of violent crime is a sham. The odds of someone not involved in crime themselves being involved in criminal violence by a stranger is minute, and most minute in the suburbs and red states where the fear is greatest.

It happens, witness the poor woman slugged by some scumbag on 7th this week, but inside the small odds of a noncriminal experiencing violence, it's overwhelmingly likely to come from someone you know. So in that remote possibility of "someone is sticking a gun to your head", it's likely to be your relative. But "protecting you from your family" doesn't make a very good police slogan, nor do the cops have a very good track record at it, in fact they're notorious for their own domestic violence.

We read occasionally about timely police action, but for the most part they show up well after the robbery or mugging, take a report, and that's the last you hear about it. I'd love to know the JCPD clearance rates on those kinds of common crimes. Not that I think they could be solved by any city's PD, but it would give a more realistic metric of what most of us experience in dealing with the PD, and not the hyperbolic "someone is sticking a gun to your head" scenario. When was the last time JC had a real hostage taking anyway? A search of NJ.com shows only 3 news articles for JC+hostage in the last 4 years, and in one of those the perp with a gun was a JC cop. You just can't make this stuff up!

Posted on: 2010/9/22 2:27
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Quote:

gumbo wrote:
Quote:

This is fairly common and is not illegal. They do this to slow down traffic due to an incident up ahead. It could be an accident, road construction, funeral procession, or other reasons.


the first time i have experienced it in 10 years. there was nothing on the road to explain the behavior (nor down the road--the cruiser wasn't seen again for the remaining 10 miles i drove, nor was there an accident, construction or any other obstruction witnessed), and there was little traffic on the road at that time--again, this was early in the morning.

could there have been a good reason? sure. and i could win the lottery one day too. remains unlikely.


This is a fairly commmon practice. I've seen it many times. There could have been a pursuit that didn't end in the area you were travelling.

Posted on: 2010/9/21 15:10
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Seriously???.....Start w/ the Music Box, corner of 7th and Monmouth....of course it is "unofficially" owned by a police officer.

Posted on: 2010/9/21 14:40
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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Get these fatasses outta there cars and walking around. Make them approachable and acountable to the people they "serve and protect". Worst thing that ever happened in policing was the cruiser.

Posted on: 2010/9/21 13:50
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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i agree with Brewster in general.

but, we have to differentiate between the ranks of police officers to fill out his theory.

detectives and captains are generally not going to stomp you or get in your face about your on-street behavior. they're above that, now. (except in LA Confidential)

the street officers/ beat cops are the disrespectful and often-stupid cops being a problem for citizens.

too bad they don't actually hang around downtown anymore. there is so much scumbag behavior in this town from every demographic. these bonehead cops need to start making themselves a problem for downtown drunks and loudmouths.

being visible... would be good. actually responding to nuisance calls and closing down after-hours bars would be better

Posted on: 2010/9/21 12:34
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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First, attend the captain's meeting, which is held once a month, and voice your concerns.

You might also try talking to PO Dina Reilly, the community liaison.

Next, talk to your councilman, Steve Fulop.

I have friends who are police, and my uncle was a NYPD Detective. I have great respect for the largely thankless job they do every day. That doesn't give them the right to behave poorly.

Eric Fleming

Posted on: 2010/9/21 11:33
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
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From Hamilton Park
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robotjustin wrote:
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jerseymom wrote:
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Cops are no longer the civil servants of the 1950s. They are a state-sanctioned gang of mostly low-intelligence thugs.


...until someone is sticking a gun to your head and a cop risks his/her life to save you, that is.


What a crock. The odds of being HARASSED by a cop are 1000 -1 against being helped by one.


Probably not quite 1000-1, but there's truth there. The whole police thing (and the gun lobby's) of trading on civilian fear of violent crime is a sham. The odds of someone not involved in crime themselves being involved in criminal violence by a stranger is minute, and most minute in the suburbs and red states where the fear is greatest.

It happens, witness the poor woman slugged by some scumbag on 7th this week, but inside the small odds of a noncriminal experiencing violence, it's overwhelmingly likely to come from someone you know. So in that remote possibility of "someone is sticking a gun to your head", it's likely to be your relative. But "protecting you from your family" doesn't make a very good police slogan, nor do the cops have a very good track record at it, in fact they're notorious for their own domestic violence.

We read occasionally about timely police action, but for the most part they show up well after the robbery or mugging, take a report, and that's the last you hear about it. I'd love to know the JCPD clearance rates on those kinds of common crimes. Not that I think they could be solved by any city's PD, but it would give a more realistic metric of what most of us experience in dealing with the PD, and not the hyperbolic "someone is sticking a gun to your head" scenario. When was the last time JC had a real hostage taking anyway? A search of NJ.com shows only 3 news articles for JC+hostage in the last 4 years, and in one of those the perp with a gun was a JC cop. You just can't make this stuff up!

Posted on: 2010/9/21 2:01
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Re: Gross Behavior by JC Police Officer Menendez
#27
Home away from home
Home away from home


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Joined:
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2011/7/18 18:17
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jerseymom wrote:
Quote:
Cops are no longer the civil servants of the 1950s. They are a state-sanctioned gang of mostly low-intelligence thugs.


...until someone is sticking a gun to your head and a cop risks his/her life to save you, that is.


What a crock. The odds of being HARASSED by a cop are 1000 -1 against being helped by one.

Posted on: 2010/9/20 23:36
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