Communication is an important aspect in almost every aspect of our daily lives, everything we do at work, at home, with family, friends, etc.
Knowing what’s going on helps us understand it better, and that goes both ways.
It might sound like a negative connotation, but this method could also be for good things.
With so many laws and demands for policing in our state and society, there also needs to be more communication and ears that listen, not just hear what is being said, but listen and act on it.
As part of his newly appointed role as President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Stafford Township Police Chief Tom Dellane is working on improvements to overall public and community safety and more.
Chief Dellane was a guest on “Shore Time with Vin and Dave” on 94.3 The Point and 105.7 The Hawk on Sunday morning and discussed many of the issues and challenges facing policing in our state and society.
“As President for the coming year, I serve as the face of the organization, so I represent the organization at a variety of events. For example, when Governor Murphy signed the Police Licensing Act into law a few weeks ago, our association was invited to participate and I represented the association,” Chief Dellane told Townsquare Media. “First and foremost, my role is to to advocate for policing and to represent the interest in our connection with the multitude of organizations and interested groups across the state.”
This also includes communication with the state legislators and the Attorney General’s Office.
“I communicate regularly with the attorney general’s office, a variety of people in this office, so we have a lot of the proposed legislation that comes up, dialogues about implementation, about concerns from the association, about the points that people might not have considered – it There are several sides and things that you have to consider with any legislation, any regulation,” Dellane said. “New Jersey is a little bit unique in the United States in that the Attorney General in New Jersey is the most powerful Attorney General in the United States, and if I say so, our Constitution makes the Attorney General the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the state, and every law enforcement agency below is under their direction.”
Since becoming New Jersey’s acting attorney general, Matthew Platkin has been receptive to police concerns.
“I think he was very receptive to that – shortly after taking office he called a round table on motor vehicle tracking. The former Attorney General had revised the policy on tracking motor vehicles to exclude a number of offenses that we used to be able to track and ban this if you will, so one of them is tracking stolen vehicles,” Dellane said, “There’s been an explosion in this state of auto theft, so certainly after he (Platkin) came to this roundtable, he revised the prosecution policies to allow for police prosecutions again, and that has already borne some fruit .”
Motor vehicle theft and auto theft have become a major problem in Ocean County, Monmouth County and throughout the state of New Jersey for a variety of reasons, including the fallout from the 2018 amendments to the Bail Reform Law enacted by the Murphy Administration and Attorney General’s Office.
“I think the biggest concern is that when we make an arrest and we make an arrest, people don’t think it’s like it’s the person’s first time. We call it ‘catch and release’ so we arrest the same people over and over again across the state. They go to jail for a period of days and then they get conditional release until the case is resolved and two, three, four days later they’re back in business,” Dellane said. “That’s the single, biggest, biggest problem – there is no deterrence, there are no consequences, so the criminals are getting bolder every day.”
Bail reform has worked to some extent overall, but there seemed to be a bigger problem with those re-offending and committing more offenses — immediately.
“Every time you make a change there will be unintended consequences and I think the intent of the bail bond reform was noble and I agree with the concept, so I think we’re in the weeds now and some of those are really fleshing out the areas who need to be revisited and have another interview,” Dellane said. “I think what happens with bail reform — if you’re arrested for a crime and released for a crime and you don’t commit another crime, then bail reform does its job, you do not deserve to be jailed you will however await your charges if you are arrested several times within a short space of time and speaking from experience one of the car thefts was indeed a car theft that we had (in Stafford). subject a juvenile who had 8 criminal charges pending and multiple warrants for his arrest and who nonetheless released was released – this is not the system that works, this is not law enforcement failures, this is the system that is failing the community. When we weren’t allowed to pursue, word spreads very quickly and then you lose the deterrent attack, there’s no deterrent and once you lose that it goes downhill from there.”
Aside from bail reform and the other issues discussed here so far, there are major challenges facing policing and law enforcement as a whole in our state and beyond.
“I think policing in general in the United States has gotten more difficult in recent years. I think society has become more suspicious for whatever reason, and not just towards law enforcement, I think it’s general – I As mentioned before, I think a lack of courtesy in the past, we’re not like that anymore Nice to people like I used to, so I think people tend to be more confrontational,” Dellane said. where people are fighting, once a uniformed police officer arrived at the scene, people would usually calm down, I don’t think that’s the case, I think people are more inclined to express their anger towards police officers and as cops we’re trained in de-escalation, we’re trained in having to endure a certain amount of hostility against us and we’re trained in how to deal with it n, but we see that has increased dramatically, so I think it’s odd to win that back given the poll numbers that the public perceives and trusts The number of law enforcement agencies has never been greater since they started with the elections but at the same time there is this underlying sense of distrust and lack of transparency. As a police officer I try to balance that and I try to meet regularly with our community groups and we try to be as transparent as possible but the The reality is that the nature of investigating criminal activity does not allow you to be transparent without sometimes compromising the integrity of your investigation. Transparency can come at a later stage, but people want what they want, when they want it and unfortunately we can’t always offer that.”
You can listen to the full interview with Stafford Township Police Commissioner Tom Dellane on “Shore Time with Vin and Dave” on 94.3 The Point and 105.7 The Hawk here.
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