Thursday, October 30, 2008

What Do YOU Call It?

Individual police officers may have their own names for it, but growing up in New Jersey, we only knew two names for the night before Halloween: “Cabbage Night” and “Mischief Night.” In adulthood we learned that there are many, many more names, most of them tied to geographic regions, and that the practice of using this night for acts of minor vandalism extends back at least to the 19th century in the United Kingdom.

“Goosey Night” is a name used in the northeast, and “Devil’s Night” is heard in Michigan. “Tick-Tack Night” is used only around the Trenton, New Jersey, area – and in Yorkshire, England. In fact, the UK appears to be where the whole thing started. Beggar's Night, Doorbell Night, there are many more.

As an adolescent years ago, one October 30 we were enjoying a tour of the neighborhood with some friends – purely as an academic study, of course – when a patrol car rolled up and an officer jumped out to demand to know what we were doing. “Nothing” was probably the reply, but the cans of Silly String in our hands indicated otherwise.

Silly String was a brand-new product at the time, and the officer had never seen it previously. We demonstrated it to the him, and he took it back to the patrol car to show it to his partner. The two officers had as much fun with it as we did, shooting the Silly String around and laughing. Remarkably, they did not confiscate it, they gave it back to us. They must have concluded that we could have doing things much worse than decorating neighbors’ yards with Silly String.

In recent years there have been devastating October 30 fires in cities such as Camden and Detroit, so a little toilet paper in the trees or Silly String on the porch seems almost quaint. Like the name “Cabbage Night.”

What if she had refused to watch Titanic?

Many cops will tell you that one of the most volatile and risky situations is that of domestic violence. Now, on the face of it an argument between spouses or lovers may not seem to rank up there with armed robbery on the danger scale, but the fact is that these situations often play out in very close quarters, usually with emotionally-charged participants, and sometimes with armed combatants. For these reasons police officers approach domestic situations with great care. They never know what they will encounter.

And so it was when police in a New Jersey community responded to a domestic call in the summer of 2008. The police approached with caution.

At the scene, a woman told the officers that when she refused to watch the movie Gladiator, her boyfriend threatened and assaulted her. When the woman tried to leave, the man pushed her onto a bed and forced her...

... to watch more of the film.

She continued to allege that he stood in the doorway, prevented her from leaving, smashed two free weights together in front of her, screamed at her, threatened to kill her, and spat in her face.
Police charged the man with simple assault, criminal restraint, and terroristic threats.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Visit us at NJLM Conference Nov. 18-20 in Atlantic City, NJ

Come meet The Badge Company of New Jersey in Atlantic City during the 93rd annual conference of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, taking place in the Atlantic City Convention Center on November 18-19-20. We'll be exhibiting in booth 240 on the show floor, where we'll have sample of our products on hand, plus catalogs and brochures covering not only our products but also the products of our manufacturing partners.

At this event we'll be showcasing much, much more than police badges. In addition to our law enforcement products we offer a broad range of products applicable to municipal needs. When you pinned that plastic beach badge on your bathing suit this past summer, it may have come from The Badge Company of New Jersey. That ID holder carried by the DPW worker may have come from The Badge Company of New Jersey. That safety vest worn by the school crossing guard may have come from The Badge Company of New Jersey. That blue light in the volunteer firefighter's vehicle may have come from The Badge Company of New Jersey.

So come check us out! Complete conference and exhibit information is available on the NJLM web site, .

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Giving new meaning to "Cop Car"

Carbon Motors Corporation is a newly-created entity that is designing a purpose-built police car, not a modified regular production car. Where we are presently accustomed to seeing the Ford Crown Victoria, the Dodge Magnum, or the Chevy Impala, Carbon Motors wants us to see the Carbon Motors E7.

On the surface the vehicle does not look dramatically different from current police cars, but it incorporates a number of innovative features and notably, a diesel engine. If your immediate reaction is to think that diesels are slow, perhaps you need to be reminded that in recent years diesel-powered race cars have won the 24 Hours of Lemans endurance race. The Ford Crown Victoria is a older design, and both the Dodge Magnum and the Chevy Impala have their limitations in police use.

SUVs have been used by many departments, but these vehicles also have their limitations. Carbon Motors has made a big promotional effort and has a dramatic web site, but it remains to be seen whether the company will be able to bring their vehicle to a police agency near you. You can see the prototype E7 at