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Bad News for Residents of Two Cities; Police Chief on Community Safety; Gang Report in the News ; Bullets Fly; Hearing for 16 Police Sergeants

 

TIPS AND SNIPPETS

BY BILL CLEARY

GC TAXPAYERS WILL PICKUP THE TAB!...The rumor about Cheerleaders Bar winning their Yo bill lawsuit against the City of Gloucester City is true.  Gloucester City Solicitor John Kearney said the judge ruled the City Planning Board violated the owner’s First Amendment rights in March 2010 when it refused his request to operate an adult entertainment club at the site, Route 130 and Klemn Avenue.  The owner was also granted $159,000 in attorney fees by the judge. Kearney said the City is appealing the court’s ruling.

Yo Bill! Have you heard this rumor?

As a result of the court’s decision patrons are allowed to bring their own bottle set up, (beer and wine bought elsewhere), and the club’s wait staff serves it back to them while they take in the entertainment. 

If you recall the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) revoked the owner’s license following a horrific traffic accident involving a patron of Cheerleaders, Humberto Herrera-Salas. The owners appealed the ABC’s decision. In November 2008 the appellate court agreed that the bar served alcohol to Herrera-Salas, even though he was intoxicated.

According to court documents on April 15, 2000, Herrera-Salas was ejected from the bar and drove south in the northbound lanes of Route 130, crashing head-on into another car.

Robert, 42, and Patricia Reed, 40, of Gloucester City were killed and two other people in their car were seriously injured.

Herrera-Salas was sentenced to 22 years in prison. 

MORE BAD NEWS FOR CAMDEN RESIDENTS ...The mayor of Camden announced last week that property taxes were going to increase 23 percent. This is the first tax increase in that city in 15 years.  The state now has to approve the proposal introduced at a special council meeting January 26. About 80 percent of Camden’s budget is funded by the state (meaning you and I). Council's unanimous vote allows the city to ask the state Local Finance Board, which oversees its finances, to exceed the 3 percent cap by an additional 20 percent. That would bring in $4.2 million more in taxes than last year, for a total of $25 million.

How stupid! All these years the Camden politicians have been taking your tax dollars to run their City they never planned for the day when the aid would stop coming. The State and Camden politicians should be booted out of office for their lack of foresight. This large tax increase could have been avoided if they had planned better.

It is not clear if the new revenue, would be used by the City to bring back the 300 city workers, mostly police officers and firemen, laid off earlier in January. 

GLOUCESTER CITY IS SAFE...Regarding Camden City police layoffs, State Senator Stephen Sweeney said on January 25, “Camden’s problem is everybody’s problem. Once [the criminals] bleed Camden, you don't think they're going to be looking at Gloucester City and Westville?"

 

Gloucester City Police Chief George Berglund was asked about Sweeney’s remarks. Specifically whether his community has seen an increase in crime since the 160 police officers were laid off in Camden City on January 17. 

 

Berglund said, “No!”  

 

“Do you really think criminals are going to leave a City were there are less police to come to a community such as Gloucester City that has been able to keep police patrols up to normal?  They are not!  Because of the budget cutbacks several positions have not been filled. So far we have been able to make some adjustments and continue to patrol the City with full five man shifts. The people in Gloucester City can rest assure we are protecting them.”

 

The chief was asked about the State Police 2010 Gang Survey that was released on Friday, January 28. About 50 percent of the police departments in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties reported a gang presence in 2010, down from about 60 percent of local departments three years ago. 

 

Berglund said there is an active chapter of the Pagans MC. “We have encountered some members of the Latin Kings when called to quell a fight at a bar on Route 130. The individuals were arrested an identified by their tattoos”.  

 

 

The report listed the following gangs in Camden County communities. 

 

Municipality        Gang presence No. of Gangs Est. Gang members

 

 

Camden

Yes

21

 

Cherry Hill township

Yes

7

2

Magnolia borough

Yes

2

3

Gloucester City

Yes

1

4

Gloucester township

Yes

14

4

Collingswood borough

Yes

4

5

Pine Hill borough

Yes

1

6

Brooklawn borough

Yes

2

6

Voorhees township

Yes

1

10

Woodlynne borough

Yes

6

14

Waterford township

Yes

3

17

Clementon borough

Yes

9

28

Winslow township

Yes

3

41

Berlin township

Yes

2

69

Pennsauken township

Yes

8

115

Lindenwold borough

Yes

23

180

 

 

 

 

The Star Ledger data base gives a breakdown of gangs by county throughout the State and by gang name. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/nearly_half_of_nj_towns_have_a.html

 

Read the full survey here (PDF)

 

WATCH OUT FOR STRAY BULLETS... A law enforcement officer told me recently that because of the bullets flying in nearby Fairview, he avoids driving in that area altogether. “You don’t hear about all the people that are accidentally shot in Fairview. Camden PD doesn’t report those incidents only the ones shot dead.”

 

CIVIL SERVICE HEARING...Sixteen Camden City PD Sergeants are appealing the City’s decision to not follow Civil Service rules and regulations when they were demoted on October 18, 2010.   They were promoted off of the Civil Service list where they tested against their fellow Patrolmen and/or Detectives.  Some were in the position of Sergeant for close to 2 years. They were disciplined as Sergeants and were identified as Sergeants by numerous Courts, Legislators and their fellow officers.  Some of these Sergeants were given awards by various Law Enforcement agencies.  The hearing is being held Wednesday in Trenton.

 

Tip send to BillGCN@verizon. net. For breaking news, www.gloucestercitynews.net 

 

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