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Gloucester City Police Chief: SHOOTING WAS AN ISOLATED INCIDENT...

 

by Bill Cleary

(CNBNEWS.NET)The shooting in Gloucester City received alot of attention this past week both in P1060519 print, on television and across the internet. The naysayers posted comments about the decline of the City and some even blamed the police for not doing a better job of policing. 

photo: Police Chief George Berglund

For those who have been away, Andrew Stosny, age 19, a resident of Glendora was shot early in the morning May 1 in the 300 block of Middlesex St.  He had been shot once in the upper chest and was transported to Cooper Hospital.The last report on his condition was that he was stable. The suspect is Robert G. Figueroa, age 19, a resident of Camden.  He fled the scene prior to police arrival.  The weapon used in the shooting was located in a rear yard of a residence in the 300 block of Middlesex Street, through which Figueroa was seen fleeing.  Police are still searching for him.

Later that day (May 1)  Police Lt. Brian Morrell told CNBNews there is a home in the 300 block of Middlesex Street near the playground that is a trouble spot and has been labeled a nuisance by police. According to reports the victim was visiting that home. 

In an interview on Friday Police Chief George Berglund  said this shooting was an isolated incident that involved people from other communities. 

“This is not indicative of everyday life in Gloucester City,” Berglund said. 

“I can not remember the last time we had a shooting. They happen everywhere and we are fortunate that we do not have many.  Unfortunately it puts an ugly spotlight on both the city and police department because of some scumbags. It is not fair to both the city and our department because we have far more decent residents than bad. It is just a small handful causing our issues. 

 

“The Camden County Prosecutors Office are laying off more people and they will be down 48 percent of their work force which is a huge hit and it will have a direct impact on us all. Cases will take longer to go to court and thugs will be released. We are seeing less resources and the paperwork is incredible. This all causes less officers to be on the street. We are doing more paperwork, sending two officers to the hospital babysitting prisoners for hours on end. This is having an effect on resources that should be on the street. Our budget has been cut a lot. I could go on and on. We need money and manpower and until we get both we are not able to be as proactive as we like.”

 

The Camden County Communications Report for the month of April show that Gloucester City Police Department handled 1,499 calls. That is more than 31 other Camden County communities. Lindenwold was number one with 1509 calls.

 

Berglund added that the department is down to 28 officers. Two men who retired last year have not been replaced.  And his operating budget for the department has been cut by mayor and council for the last three years. 

 

Asked what happens when a landlord is cited for maintaining a disorderly house? Berglund said,  "He can be fined up to $500 and imprisoned for 6 months. He can also loose his right to rent the property.  Trying to evict someone from a property is a drawn out process. I know of one landlord who has been trying for sometime to get rid of the tenants in her property because of the problems they have been causing her and the surrounding neighborhood. She is giving up and going to put the property into foreclosure. Bottom line, landlords have to do a better job of screening the people they rent too.” 

 

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