Friday, January 21, 2011

Fewer Snouts in the Trough, Less Crime in the Streets

Officer Roid Rage: New Jersey tax victims footed the bill for this poser's hormonal enhancements.

 "What happens when you lay off nearly half of the police in one of the most dangerous cities in America?" begins a recent account of personnel cutbacks by the municipal government of Camden, New Jersey.

My guess would be this: The crime rate -- as experienced by the affected public, rather than measured by the local government -- will go down, and the public appetite will be whetted for further personnel cuts. This is because the Camden Police Department -- which has laid off 167 of its 360 officers -- has long been a major source of crime, rather than a deterrent to the same.

New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the soyuz, but it is also afflicted with a large and immensely powerful population of unionized tax feeders. 

On January 19, a New Jersey Superior Court Judge refused to grant an injunction sought by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) to reinstate the 167 officers who were laid off by Camden. On the same day, the union rejected a proposed compromise that would have reinstated 100 officers to the force. The deal would involve three days a month of unpaid furloughs for patrol officers for six months, followed by one unpaid monthly furlough day for the following year. 

This arrangement would amount to a modest pay cut, but it shattered against the FOP's impregnable sense of privilege. As commentator George Berkin pointed out, the union had erroneously assumed that it could "get a court to trump economics" -- or, at least, that it could browbeat Camden City Hall into devising some way to extract wealth from the productive on its behalf. The police unions have become accustomed to getting whatever they want. For example: In New Jersey, it's become standard practice for police to use their tax-funded health plans to pay for illegal steroid treatments

Camden County is among the state's poorest subdivisions, with an official (which is to say, understated) unemployment rate of 16.3 percent, a per capita income of about $23,300, and a median annual household income of roughly $48,000. Its municipal government confronts a $26.5 million budget shortfall. 

The average Camden police officer receives $144,000 in salary and benefits, most of it paid for by taxpayers elsewhere in the state.  Since 2003, Camden has been under the fiscal supervision of Trenton, which provides more than 80 percent of the city's operating budget. Over the past seven years the state government has lavished nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on Camden in the name of "economic revitalization" and "transitional" funding

Five year before Trenton assumed responsibility for Camden's finances, the state took control of the Camden Police Department following the resignation of Police Chief William Hill. This left the department "without a person clearly in charge" in the midst of a wide-ranging corruption probe.

At the time of Chief Hill's resignation, a federal grand jury was investigating allegations that a clique of corrupt Camden police officers had operated a shakedown racket targeting local cocaine dealers, thereby helping the market prosper in exchange for a cut of the proceeds. One of the first results of that inquiry was an increased attrition rate for the Camden PD as about one-ninth of its force of about 460 officers suddenly retired, claimed their pensions, and -- perhaps most importantly -- sealed their personnel files. 

Camden County Prosecutor Lee Solomon negotiated an agreement with the president of the local police union, Detective Dan Morris, permitting the investigation to have access to personnel records of officers -- both active and retired -- who served on the force from 1997 on. "The prosecutor has assured the FOP [Fraternal Order of Police] the confidentiality of these files will not be compromised," Morris announced in 2000.  

Camden Mayor Dana Redd (c.) and Police Chief Scott Thompson (r.).

Morris had access to those files as well, and there's reason to believe that he gleaned critical intelligence from them -- which he used to create his own little protection racket, which he operated for several years before retiring on disability last January at the age of 46.

Last September, Morris pleaded guilty to multiple charges outlined in a multi-count federal indictment. As commander of a five-officer Special Operations unit, Morris committed numerous criminal offenses, including illegal searches and seizures of property, theft, extortion, perjury, and various kinds of assault. 

The federal indictment against Morris's subordinates describes their Special Operations unit as a criminal conspiracy that planted evidence to justify false arrests, routinely lied about the quantity of narcotics seized in raids in order to "expose the arrestees to greater penalties," regularly bartered drugs for sundry favors, and made a habit of stealing money and drugs. Public exposure of the crimes committed by Morris and his little street gang led to the dismissal of 185 drug cases, and the release of dozens of people who had been wrongfully imprisoned. 

In April 2007, Benjamin Daye -- who was 20 at the time --was stopped and assaulted by Morris and his goon squad. An illegal search of Daye's car failed to turn up any contraband and the terrified young man couldn't provide any information on local dealers -- so the police planted drugs in the car and arrested Daye, who served nearly three years in prison before the case was dropped. 

Joel Barnes, who spent nearly a year and a half behind bars, had a very similar experience. Two officers with the Special Operations unit, Robert Bayard and Antonio Figueroa, invaded Barnes's home, demanding to know "where the s**t is at." When Barnes truthfully replied that there were no illegal drugs on the premises, one of them pulled a small bag of cocaine from his own pockets and told Barnes, "Tell us where the s**t [is] at and we'll make this disappear." When Barnes repeated that he didn't have any drugs, the officers charged him with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in a "school zone" -- a charge that could have led to a 20-year prison sentence.

"I felt helpless and didn't know what to do," Barnes recalls. "I knew I hadn't done anything wrong, but I also knew that the officers had all of the power and I had none."

Morris and his Special Operations squad are generally referred to as a "rogue" unit, implying that their criminal conduct was anomalous. Given the pervasive corruption of the Camden PD, the term "rogue" would more properly be applied to Rolan Carter. In 2008, Carter was fired from the force for "insubordination" as a result of an incident in which he attempted to arrest a man wanted on four outstanding warrants. 

Carter pulled the man over for using a cell phone while driving. As he ran a background check two plainclothes officers materialized and insisted that the driver was a police informant and should be released immediately. While Carter discussed the matter with the plainclothes cops, a police sergeant arrived and ordered him to let the driver go. Still unconvinced that this was the "proper procedure," Carter called his own command sergeant, who instructed him to do as the other officers demanded. 

Not a "team player": Fired cop Rolan Carter.

Six weeks later, Carter -- who had received multiple commendations for valor -- was charged with insubordination and cashiered from the force. But his problems had actually begun more than a year earlier. 

 As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, in January 2007, Carter was transferred from a patrol squad "when he raised concerns about one supervisor, Sgt. Dan Morris." After Carter was removed from the squad, he was replaced by Officer Jason Stetser, who is now facing multiple criminal charges for his actions as part of Morris's "rogue" Special Operations squad

Carter didn't lose his job because of personnel cut-backs; he was fired because he displayed symptoms of personal integrity. And his lawsuit against the Camden PD is one of at least ten filed by former officers describing "a department rife with cronyism" in which "commanders create a hostile and discriminatory atmosphere and seek retaliation against those perceived as defiant," observes the Inquirer

In addition to the lawsuits filed by former Camden police officers, the city is dealing with up to thirty active or potential lawsuits by victims of the Morris-led criminal syndicate -- with dozens more likely to come. It is possible that Camden's municipal government will soon suffer the same fate that befell the one in charge of Maywood, California

Buried beneath a deluge of civil rights lawsuits and settlement costs incurred by police misconduct, Maywood lost its liability insurance coverage and had to contract with a neighboring town for basic municipal services. As it happens, that neighboring town was Bell, California -- which, it was discovered, had an even more extravagantly corrupt municipal government. I suspect that entertaining little revelations of this kind -- in California, New Jersey, and all points in between -- will abound as the economic collapse accelerates.  

The Camden PD, following the example of law enforcement agencies in cash-strapped California cities such as Oakland and Sacramento, has announced that it will be rationing its services by refusing to deal with "minor" matters, such as non-injury vehicle accidents and petty theft. This announcement is intended to inspire public fear. It may have exactly the opposite effect.

Helene Pierson, executive director of Heart of Camden, a neighborhood development corporation, recalls that when her group was created several years ago it intended to be a "partner" with the police force. She and others "bought into the [idea] that police are stretched really thin, that they try really hard, that they need extra help." Much of what she has seen -- including dozens of cases in which people were falsely imprisoned in the service of a criminal racket run by the cops -- has disabused Pierson of such notions. 

In Camden -- and, for that matter, everywhere else -- the government police force has been a catalyst for crime, rather than a deterrent to it. There's every reason to believe that fewer snouts in the trough would mean less crime on the streets. 

Your donations help keep Pro Libertate on-line. Thanks so much -- and God bless!

Dum spiro, pugno!


Whitey Lawful said...

There is no lack of psychopaths that are part of The Shield T.V. show cult in policing. Due to the delinquents' and orginized crime's lack of self-government and the exploitation of its loophole -- they will have a field day in New Jersey.

How jerseylicious... this gangster jigger.

Arctic Patriot said...

Mr. Grigg-
A well written commentary. Again, nice work and astute observations.

Linked and commented on at Arctic Patriot.


fin macdonald said...

I quite enjoyed this article, as I have the last three written on this website, which I discovered through anti-war radio. Articulate and probing. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

At least, in the old days, when the Mob used to control these streets the business and citizens received real protection when they paid their "dues" to this criminal syndicate. Now they have their "dues" extracted at gunpoint ( via taxes) and receive no protection whatsoever.Worse they live in fear of being beat up. Good riddance municipal Police Depts, you wont be missed.

liberranter said...

In Camden -- and, for that matter, everywhere else -- the government police force has been a catalyst for crime, rather than a deterrent to it. There's every reason to believe that fewer snouts in the trough would mean less crime on the streets.

Exactly what I've been saying for years. Thank you, William, for a long overdue article, one that would have been published by Time, Newsweek, etc., were they not enabling propaganda fonts for these very same cliques of Establishment enforcers.

I find myself hoping that there will be many, MANY more people in this country in the months to come who experience the epiphany of Helene Pierson. Then, and ONLY THEN will the sheeple majority wake up and lose their mindless reverential awe for these blue-clad gangbangers.

kirk said...

It is my sincere hope these abusers are placed in the GENERAL POPULATION of prisoners. Then they will get what they truly spades.

NOT putting cops who are criminals in with the general population sends a message to cops: it's alright if you are a criminal, we'll still protect you.

In the end, I believe the following is fitting: put them in the general population, ignore any complaints they may have and haul out their toxic carcasses when the odor they emanate is commensurate with the trash that occupied it.

Anonymous said...

Are there any available statistics that show what happens to crime when police forces are cut (other things being equal)?

Anonymous said...

New Jersey is undoubtedly the most Un-Free state in the un-free union. The taxes are unbelievable, you can't pump your own gas, the 2nd amendment is dead, and the government is controlled by vicious criminals.

Shimshon said...

Hi Will. You make one common mistake in this statement:

"This arrangement would amount to a modest pay cut..."

Furloughs should really piss off us mundanes, because they are NOT pay cuts at all. Rather the subject is being forced to take unpaid time off, but his pay RATE is still exactly the same. So, while it might be preferable to have government parasites work less for the same pay (since by not being on the job as much, perhaps they can do less damage that way), I'd rather see them paid less for the (presumably) same amount of "work" they are already supposed to be doing. Instead, the people get reduced "services" and the tax feeders enjoy extra time off.

MoT said...

First I have to second Shimshon in his comment on furloughs. They hit the topic square on the head. It's a ruse and a farce.

What made me laugh out loud was your quip "...wealthiest states in the soyuz". That was a keeper.

liberranter said...

Are there any available statistics that show what happens to crime when police forces are cut (other things being equal)?

Good question. I somehow doubt that any GOVERNMENT organ keeps such statistics accurately, if at all.

MamaLiberty said...

The people in every place will soon be forced by such circumstances to choose between being even more helpless victims or finally taking personal responsibility for their lives and safety.

It's time to board up city hall and start to think - and do - for ourselves.

Much easier to do here in Wyoming, where the right to self defense is alive and well. But anyone can do it if they really want to make the effort.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Ouch! Losing $144,000 smackers a year must really hurt. I wouldn't know myself, because I never made that much in my whole life before being dumped by the corporatocracy. Not to forget their supplemental income from crime, now closed off to them.

This is the American Dream: Free enterprise in all things, including crime and shafting the public. From sea to shining sea. Annuit Coeptis. One Nation Under Tel Aviv. Yeah.

Why don't these unemployed thugs get together in a criminal gang, (which would be given a pass by their former colleagues in blue,) and go kidnap some Wall Street bankers, or invade and loot the mansions of corporate CEOs, in "one of the wealthiest states in the Union"?

Why don't they take a page from Willie Sutton's playbook and rob the rich, because "that's where the money is"?

This story shows the lack of brains of these overfed porkers, who keep on doing the same old same old, robbing the poor who have no money.

Any tax feeders reading this, listen up jackasses: No money down here in the gutter, bro. Food stamps and welfare not going to support you in the style to which you have become accustomed.

Time for us unwashed peasants to start sharpening the tines of our pitchforks, and keeping our powder dry. Vive La Guillotine.

- Lemuel Gulliver.

liberranter said...

Why don't these unemployed thugs get together in a criminal gang, (which would be given a pass by their former colleagues in blue,)...

You're sure that they haven't already done so?

Bob said...

Another excellent column, Will.

rumours of wars said...

By Jim Gold
updated 1/24/2011 8:33:37 PM ET 2011-01-25T01:33:37

A spate of shooting attacks on law enforcement officers has authorities concerned about a war on cops.

In just 24 hours, at least 11 officers were shot. The shootings included Sunday attacks at traffic stops in Indiana and Oregon, a Detroit police station shooting that wounded four officers, and a shootout at a Port Orchard, Wash., Wal-Mart that injured two deputies. On Monday morning, two officers were shot dead and a U.S. Marshal was wounded by a gunman in St. Petersburg, Fla.

On Thursday, two Miami-Dade, Fla., detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest.

"It's not a fluke," said Richard Roberts, spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations. "There's a perception among officers in the field that there’s a war on cops going on."

With the Florida deaths, the nation is on track in 2011 to match the 162 police officers killed in the line of duty in 2010, said Steve Groeninger, spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that tracks police casualties. In January this year there have been 14 deaths, the same number as in January 2010, the fund posted on its web site.

The 2010 toll ended a two-year drop in fatalities and spiked 43 percent over the 117 killed in 2009, Groeninger said.

Law enforcement advocates worry that cuts in police budgets could exacerbate the danger.

"We don't have any data, but there seems to be a type of criminal out there looking to thwart authority," he said.

He cited the example of Jared Loughner, accused of killing six and wounding 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, on Jan. 8 in Tucson, Ariz. "People with this mentality feel the need to eliminate those in position of authority," he said.

Roberts said the recent shootings are reminders that officers must constantly stay on alert.

"The bad guys are not afraid of cops," Roberts said. "They’re rarely rational. You get that combination, when you ID yourself as a cop, it does not scare them away; it makes it more dangerous for you."

Noting the Oregon and Indiana shootings occurred during so-called "routine traffic stops," Roberts said, "The word routine should be eliminated from the job. There's no such thing. There is only 'known risk' and 'unknown risk' " he said.

Roberts, a former North Beach, Md., police officer, and Groeninger both voiced worries over police budget cuts.

Reducing police response times and cutting back on in-service training can endanger not just citizens but cops on patrol, they said.

"It's not a good situation out there," Groeninger said.

MoT said...

rumors.... The article you cited doesn't do more than pander to the fear mongering that police unions use to extort funds for their very existence. The mouthpieces cited in said article say as much by their veiled threats about being concerned with budget cuts. Boo Hoo!

War is the Answer said...

The article came from msnbc that is probably why the groupie ballwash bow down and service authority tone to it. The update on all 11 investigations is edited out. Hey Slick if you don't like the tone or what's posted at P.L. comments thread then take your V for Vagina zionist turd propaganda fagatar and go start your own blog.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

The Amerikanische Polizei Abteilung is the perfect illustration of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe a friendly man you have never met before is your bitter enemy, and treat him like a bitter enemy, why, he will react accordingly and become your bitter enemy. You can then point to him and say, "See? I told you he was no good."

Polizei Abteilungen in Amerika are trained to look on all Mundanes as vicious thugs. They treat 94-year-old ladies and small tots as thugs, tasering them, beating them with nightsticks and puching them with those massive cortisol-fueled arms, and lo and behold, the beaten dogs start to bite back.

Then the leaders of the Polizei-Vereinungen (unions) howl, "See? We are under attack! We have a dangerous job! The public hates us! Always did, always will! We need more cops, bigger guns, and higher pay!"

It is too late to break the vicious cycle and make peace. Either they win and we are exterminated, or we win and they are exterminated. But, here's the good news: We outnumber them about 100 to 1.

Word of wisdom to all tax-swilling porkers: Go find a rock and crawl under it, mother-molester, before you get squashed by a very large boot.

- Lemuel Gulliver.

PS: Same in Canada. A Canuck friend just told me, apropos of the latest news, of a recent incident in which a Canadian cop shot a teenage kid who was running away with a stolen 6-pack of beer (because the State decided he was too young to purchase it legally) and hit him in the arm, removing the arm. The cop was using dum-dum bullets, which are illegal in Canada and banned by the Geneva Conventions (to which Canada is a signatory) even for use in war. So the Canadian Army cannot use dum-dums, but the cops can, and do.

The Polizei Abteilungen are a law unto themselves, and need to be ruthlessly purged, like a stubborn and uncomfortably oversized turd that refuses to exit the body public, if we want to live in a peaceful society of law and order. The process of expulsion of this stinking excrescence might be painful, but the feeling of relief afterwards would be pure bliss.

- LG

Michael said...


Speaking of "snouts", I thought you might find this story interesting:

I have to wonder why it took from August 2010 until January 2011 for this incident to come to light...I mean, the Police always tell the truth, right?

Anonymous said...

rumors of wars: that is a problem, douche-bag, as it is an insufficient number of dead pigs to actually provide the correct incentive.

Anonymous said...