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Quality of Life Patrols are Making a Difference in Gloucester City


Gloucester City Police Chief George Berglund released an update today on the success and the broadening of the Quality of Life Patrols that begun last October under his direction. Part of the expansion involves the Chief, Mayor Bill James and Housing Officer Joe Stecklair. The three of them take a weekly walk through various neighborhoods to talk with the public about the problems that concern them and to look at conditions of the area to see what needs to be corrected. The Chief in his statement below gives further details on that aspect and explains the expansion of the program, along with the results the approach is having on quality of life issues. 

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ON PATROL from left to right, Officer Keith O’Donnell, Officer Bob Lee and Officer Ken Iepson at the intersection of Broadway and Monmouth Street who are part of the high visibility patrol program that is operating along the Broadway corridor in Gloucester City N.J.  (photo

Berglund’s statement: The Gloucester City Police Department has been

maintaining high visibility patrols along the Broadway corridor and we have been receiving positive feedback.  We have been using the T-3 chariots as well as walking foot beats.  We have also expanded walking patrols in other areas of the city as well during various times.  We are beginning to see some success with these operations.  Several weeks ago we arrested several individuals behind Gloucester Town and charged them with distribution of CDS.  Officers are also enforcing nuisance complaints and through these operations we are gaining valuable intelligence that is being passed on to the Detective bureau for investigation. 

I have personally taken several hours a week along with the Mayor and Housing to walk through various neighborhoods within the City.  We have found many issues by talking to the neighbors and they have been provided with my card to contact me with their concerns.  I have since received numerous emails about illegal activity that we may not have known about if it was not for the direct contact with the citizens.  These face to face encounters have been extremely valuable and will continue as part of our regular operations.  The only way to get good intelligence from a police standpoint is to directly engage the people and let them know that we are here to help and we must all work together.

In the next few weeks we will be going to a sector patrol during part of each shift.  The City will divided into three sectors and the officers patrol area will be in that sector.  This will ensure that the officers will pass by each street several times during their patrol.  They will have a better understanding of what is going on within that sector.  It will also have the appearance to the criminal element that we are all over the place and that is the effect we want.

We are also aggressively pursuing those landlords within the city who only care about filling their properties with people and making a profit.  What we have found is that out of the last twenty three search warrants we have served for distribution of CDs twenty two are people who are renting.    I will aggressively pursue those landlords who are destroying the quality of life of the residents.  It is even more disturbing to find out that some of the landlords are doing zero background checks.  There are many landlords who are concerned about their investment and follow the rules.  Many have called me and asked me to contact them if we have issues with their tenants. These are the type of responsible landlords we welcome.  I am more than willing to work with anyone but those who do not care about the neighbors or this city will be dealt with.  We will take away their profits through enforcement actions.  We are seeing some of their tenants bring in vicious animals who are terrorizing the neighbors and we will call their homeowners insurance carrier to let them know.  We have had some success in this area as well.  I want to make it clear that there are many good people who rent their homes and take great pride in being part of the community.  We welcome them and will do whatever we can on behalf of the police department to improve their quality of life.

We will also begin a program in August where we will be using decoy officers to enter the crosswalks to see if the motoring public is stopping for the pedestrians who enter the crosswalk.  We will be issuing warnings for the first week and then we will begin enforcement action.  This will coincide with the opening of the schools.  Our goal is to make sure that the children can cross the street safely.  Recently the owners of Here’s The Scoop along with the Lions Club purchased two pedestrian signs that were place along Johnson Blvd for the safety of the pedestrians.  It makes me extremely proud to know that some of these organizations and businesses are willing to step up to the plate to make it safer for pedestrians to navigate the streets.

The Gloucester City Police Department remains committed to see that our community remains safe for each and every resident.  Myself or a member of my command staff will always be willing to speak to any resident who has a concern.  If we all work together we will surely make Gloucester City a community to continue to be proud of.

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