Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's That White Stuff? Again!

Twice previously we have blogged about brilliant criminals who were captured because police simply followed their footprints in the snow.  This first of these was in South Carolina, and we had at least some sympathy for the clueless crook because snowfall is so infrequent there.  But the second episode took place right here in New Jersey, so there is no excuse other than what the late comedian Steve Allen termed "dumbth."

Dumbth, apparently, is not uncommon, because this past Friday two guys held up a barber shop in Mercer County and shot one of the employees, then fled... leaving footprints in the newly-fallen snow.  Those footprints were among the clues the police used to identify and arrest the dynamic duo shortly after the crime.

Fortunately, the barber shop employee who was shot was not mortally wounded.  At the moment, jail, not snow, is where the two crooks are cooling their heels.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold Case

Yesterday the high temperature for the day failed to reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit here in the hometown of the Badge Company of New Jersey.

And, not three miles away, two stray dogs, a German Shepherd and a Great Dane, fell through the thin ice into a small pond. Struggling to free themselves, the icy cold quickly sapped their strength.

Clinton Township Sergeant Matt Wilson pulled them out.

Neither of these dogs is a small dog. Sergeant Wilson got a rope around the Great Dane and got the German Shepherd under his arm.

Once the dogs were safe and in the care of a veterinarian, Sergeant Wilson changed into dry clothes and continued his shift.

Sergeant Wilson rightly deserves praise for what he did, but his actions are typical of how police officers everywhere do indeed "protect and serve" all community interests.

Monday, January 21, 2013

How Drunk?

The officer did not need a Breathalyzer to determine that the woman he stopped shortly after midnight this past Saturday night in a northern New Jersey town had been drinking.  He needed only to be, as all police officers are, observant.  She
  • was slurring her speech
  • dd not know where she was
  • did not know that moments earlier she had crashed her car into a stone wall
  • and was unable to maintain her balance.
Oh, one more thing:  She was thoroughly unaware that on a January night in one of the colder portions of rural New Jersey, she was wearing only a jacket.  Only.  Nothing else.

The officer saw a dress and other articles of clothing in the back seat of the car, so he retrieved them and instructed the woman to get dressed.  This task proved to be challenging for the woman, who, after several minutes, succeeded in putting on her dress inside-out.

She was charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to breath testing, leaving the scene of an accident, careless driving, failure to produce motor vehicle documentation and, in a wonderfully ironic application of the statute, failure to wear a seatbelt.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dancing with the Chief

In 2009, the Chief of Police in Ocean City, Maryland, won the "Dancing with the Delmarva Stars" charity fundraising event, besting 12 other contestants.

If you look at the photo and think that the Chief looks sharp in his black outfit with the white necktie, you’ll be wrong. The gentleman is Bill Goschen, but the Chief is Bernadette DiPino, the woman on the left.

"Delmarva," in case you do not know, refers the peninsula on which the resort town of Ocean City is located. The three states of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia share that peninsula.

Ocean City has a year-round population of just 7,200, but over the course of a year more than eight million tourists visit the town.

But Chief DiPino has recently taken on a task that is sure to be more challenging than either dancing in competition or being Chief of Ocean City. On January first of this year she took over as Chief of the Sarasota, Florida, police department. Sarasota is also a vacation destination, but it has a year-round population more than seven times greater than Ocean City. It’s a sprawling 25-square mile city.

Sarasota city officials have high hopes for Chief DiPino, an outsider hired to take over a department that in recent years has suffered from the fiscal squeeze and citizen complaints.

Chief DiPino is part of a family of police. Her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all served, and her daughter is an officer in Maryland today. Five generations!