North Jersey towns consider carrying tasers

Posted on December 31st, 2009 by bile
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New Jersey law enforcement officials now have the authority to use electronic stun guns, also called tasers, in limited circumstances involving emotionally disturbed individuals.

State Attorney General Anne Miligram approved the state’s primary attempt with tasers in late November.

“This is the first time in this state that officers are going to be authorized to carry and use stun guns in any capacity,” said Milgram.

The policy states that stun guns can only be used by officers authorized by each department’s chief executive.

The number of officers authorized to carry or use the weapons depends on the size of the department. In a municipality with 25,000 or fewer residents, one officer can carry the stun gun. Two stun guns are permitted in a town with 25,000 to 50,000 residents. If a municipality houses 75,000 residents or more, four officers can be authorized to carry the weapon.

Attorney General Milgram said that such an important shift in policy means limited deployment and adequate controls are necessary for accountability measures and evaluating the use of tasers. Only officers of supervisory rank can be authorized to use the tasers. The exceptions are for certified officers of a regional S.W.A.T. team.

As I live in North New Jersey and am a resident of one of the towns mentioned I urge these police departments *NOT* start carrying or using tasers in any capacity. I think its been well demonstrated in recent years that the claim of non-lethal for these devices incentivies officers to use the weapon when it’s not really necessary. Often for general pain compliance. Tasers certainly are potentially deadly weapons and too often used as cruel punishment for a baligerant or uncooperative individual.

The incentives too perverse and the outcome is too random to justify utilizing such a weapon.

Fort Lee police officer, driver of car 464, breaks New Jersey state anti-cellphone usage while driving statute

Posted on December 25th, 2008 by bile
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While driving in Fort Lee, New Jersey today I came up behind a Fort Lee Police Department car stopped for a red light at Glen Road and Brinkerhoff Avenue at approximately 10:07am. The car number was 464. The officer was talking on what appeared to be his personal cell phone. After the light turned green the officer started to turn left from Brinkerhoff Ave onto Glen Road. As he turned he moved the phone from one side of his head to the other.

His lights were not on nor were his sirens.

The overview from the State of New Jersey website says:

On November 2, 2007, Governor Jon S. Corzine signed into law a bill which amends N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3 to make the use of a wireless hand-held telephone or electronic communication device by the operator of a moving motor vehicle a primary offense. The complete text of the law amending N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3 can be found at P.L. 2007, c.198.

  • It is a primary offense for a motorist to talk or text message with a hand-held wireless telephone or electronic communication device while driving.
  • Use of a hand-held wireless telephone or electronic communication device includes, but is not limited to:
    • Talking or listening to another person.
    • Text messaging or sending an electronic message.
  • The fine for violating this statute is $100.00; no points will be assessed for the offense.
  • The operator of a motor vehicle may use a hand-held wireless telephone while driving with one hand on the steering wheel only if:
    • The operator has reason to fear for his/her life or safety, or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against him/herself or another person.
    • The operator is using this device to report to appropriate authorities: a fire; traffic crash; serious road hazard; medical or hazardous material emergency; or another motorist who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • The amended law takes effect on March 1, 2008.
  • The Division of Highway Traffic Safety, in partnership with the Motor Vehicle Commission, will conduct a public education campaign beginning in mid-February.

Additional information is linked from the overview site to here.

The State of New Jersey driver manual also clearly states that using a mobile phone while driving is a stoppable offense.

Here is the legislation: 2007c198_law.pdf

I don’t desire the officer of car 464 to be punished. I want for statutues such as this to be removed from the books. In the least I’d like to see police officers to ignore victimless crimes. Driving while on a cellphone is not a real crime. No one was harmed by his actions. There is no victim. If he was threatening other drivers by eradically driving due to being distracted with his phone conversation he should then be approached and cited but being on the phone in and of itself should not be a stoppable or finable offense.

City of Opportunity files for bankruptcy

Posted on May 13th, 2008 by bile
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The government of Vallejo, California, files for bankruptcy, thanks to diminished returns from its tax-thefts to pay its tax-eating police, fire, and other unions. (Via Drudge.)

UPDATE from Tim Wangelin: a list of the 242 public servants publicly serving the tax-payer of Vallejo by making $100,000 or more a year.

UPDATE from Robert Mayer: “Vallejo, California’s motto of ‘City of Opportunity’ couldn’t be more appropriate…if you’re government bureaucrat, that is. Using the handy online search tool you linked to, I was shocked to discover that this city of a mere 125,000 employs 77 people in the fire department who make over $150K per year! Is this the most fire-prone city on the planet or what?”…

Writes Kitty Carr: “I loaded that database [of government workers in bankrupt Vallejo, CA, making more than $100K), and the number is actually 292, not 242. The highest salary is $435,638 (Police Department token woman) and the lowest is $100,499 (Community Development Department, which is not to be confused with the Development Services Department.) Of the 292 on the list, there are 148 members in the Police Department and 100 members in the Fire Department.

“Thirty-one government ‘workers’ make over $200,000, including nine in the Police Department and 30 in the Fire Department.

“According to 2003 Census data, the population of Vallejo is 119,708. The per capita income for 1999 was $20,415, but I think it is now somewhere between 54,000 and 61,000.”

UPDATE from Steven St. Jean: “The ‘police department token woman’ mentioned by Kitty Carr was one Joann West, a spokeswoman who took a retirement payout of over $435,000 last year. Realizing it was in ‘public relations’ trouble for such malfeasance, the city spent yet more tax money to hire a propaganda expert. Who did they hire? You guessed it:

“‘On Monday, Vallejo hired West, a former spokeswoman for the city’s Police Department, to guide the city through the intense public scrutiny that’s sure to come in the next few months.

“’West was the highest-paid Vallejo employee last year, taking a $435,638 payout when she retired from the Police Department.’”

City of Opportunity indeed… for bureaucrats.

Place bets… how long till I leave NYC?

Posted on February 3rd, 2008 by bile
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In the first counterterrorism strategy of its kind in the nation, roving teams of New York City police officers armed with automatic rifles and accompanied by bomb-sniffing dogs will patrol the city’s subway system daily, beginning next month, officials said on Friday.

Under a tactical plan called Operation Torch, the officers will board trains and patrol platforms, focusing on sites like Pennsylvania Station, Herald Square, Columbus Circle, Rockefeller Center and Times Square in Manhattan, and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

Officials said the operation would begin in March.

Financing for the program will be funneled to the Police Department and will come from a pool of up to $30 million taken from $153.2 million in new federal transit grants to the state.

Each team in the operation will comprise a bomb-sniffing dog and six officers: a dog handler and a sergeant and four officers from the Emergency Service Unit who will be outfitted in heavy, bullet-resistant vests and Kevlar helmets and will carry automatic weapons, either an M-4 rifle or an MP5 submachine gun.

I may need to step up my idea for handing out fliers about the police state and the 4th Amendment. As if this will work. As if they couldn’t get on the train at some other random stop like they could now? When will people start realizing we are living in a police state?