Thursday, May 27, 2010

Arrest in last week's shooting

Thanks to the work of the MPD an arrest was made in last week's shooting, reported on this site.

A West Broad Street teen has been charged with firing a gun into an occupied car parked on Foundry Street earlier this month, leaving one victim with superficial wounds, in what police believe was a drug-related shooting.
Millville Police Ptl. Matt Radcliffe arrested Charles D. Hannah, 19, on the first block of West McNeal Street Tuesday afternoon on a warrant obtained earlier in the day by Det. Bruce Cornish.
Hannah is charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, witness tampering and weapons offenses.
Nice upstanding citizen, unfortunately this young cretin is the future of our country. Too bad he is a teen, some asshole judge will see fit to give him a suspended sentence and unleash him once again on society.

What is it going to take to force judges to abide by NJ state law and incarcerate EVERYONE convicted of crime with a gun to a minimum of three years? Why do we reward failures and  BAD SHOTS, and sentence those convicted of ATTEMPTED murder to less time than good shots?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Got Crack?

A Millville man was arrested for possession of 91 bags of crack.

A Center City man was charged with dealing crack cocaine after he tried to run from police who had come to his home early Monday to arrest him on warrants.
Police allege Thomas E. Brown, 28, of the 400 block of East Broad Street, was in possession of 91 bags of crack cocaine, with an estimated street value of $900, when he was taken into custody at the rear of his home at around 1:15 a.m. today. 

Let me guess, it was for personal use?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Trashy Slumlords

During Dottie's Walk tonight I spotted this slum residence at 4th and Pine Streets.
It only takes a few minutes toi pick up the trash in front of your house - all we ask for is that tenants have a little self respect - and barring that, have a little respect for the neighborhood.

Port Republic did it, why not Millville?

There was an interesting story in the Press of Atlantic City today. It concerned an absentee landlord, and a situation that they residents of this sleepy town had never before had to worry about - inconsiderate neighbors in a rental.

Stockton State College students apparently had rented a house and threw all night parties, disturbing the peace and ignoring the rights of the residents to a sound sleep.

Port Republic passed an ordnance to address this situation.  They were forward thinking, and added some good clauses that the City of Millville should consider. For instance:
The new city law lays out basic rules for inspections, registrations, occupancy and penalties, which include fines ranging from $250 to $2,000, imprisonment and community service of up to 90 days and revocation of rental license.

It requires a landlord to conduct a tenant screening for new inhabitants, that includes checks of all criminal convictions in the past three years, and to pay $100 to register a property.
I like the part where a landlord that refuses to address the situation can have their rental license revoked. If the City of Millville would do that, and enforce it just one time, we would send a warning shot across the bow of all other potential slumlords. Pick one slumlord and make them an example. Revoke their rental certificate, and hit them in the wallet hard.

Trust me, once the word is out that the city really does mean business, you will see an increased interest in the behavior of their tenants.

The other part that I really liked was the requirement that all landlords do a criminal background check of their tenants. For this to work, that background check would have to cover not only the lessee but all persons that would be occupying the leased premises.  But, it is a good start.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shots Fired X 2

Last night there was a large party at a home in the 200 block of North 12th Street. Police were called there early for a noise complaint. Later in the evening police again responded for possible fighting as the party let out. While numerous officers were in the area dispersing rowdy young adults, some individual decided to fire rounds from a weapon into the air around 10th and Pine Street. Unfortunately I don't believe the person was caught.

Approximately 40 minutes later police responded to the area of Green/Buck streets for reports of several shots fired. I don't know if anyone was apprehended in that incident. Police had descriptions of possible suspects and were searching...

I witnessed many kids from this party as they spread out into the darkness from the 12th street melee - all I could do was wonder how so many parents could allow their children to be out late at night with zero concern or supervision, and how easily lives can be ruined by ignorant choices, either by shooting weapons in a crowd, or by associating with the type of people who so freely do so...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Burglaries and Break-ins

There have been plenty of stories in the news concerning break-ins and home burglaries. While these crimes are non-violent in nature, they lead to a feeling of unease and a sense of personal violation.

In one recent story, we learn of fast action from a cop preventing a burglary.
Police arrested Carl H. Parent, 36, in the area of High and Green streets after receiving a report of a burglary in progress to the East Green Street shed at 2:16 a.m. Tuesday.
Police spotted Parent carrying something in one of his hands as he walked away from the shed, then chased him down an alley, Millville Police Det. Lt. Les Watson said.
Police believe Parent not only broke into the East Green Street shed, but also attempted to steal a generator from a camper parked in the area, according to Watson.
In another story, the perp was caught hiding in a pile of laundry inside a house.
A Sassafras Street woman is being held on $50,000 bail after police reportedly caught her burglarizing a Center City home late Wednesday night.
Police said they found Gladys McLean, 41, hiding in a pile of clothes inside a home in the 600 block of Vine Street.
Police were called to the home around 11:15 p.m. for a reported burglary in progress. Officers found a window-unit air conditioner on the ground and determined somebody had just entered the home through the opening, according to a report made available Thursday morning.
These incidents are more evidence that we cannot afford a reduction in police services.  Not every criminal act involves gun-play between alleged gang members.

Increased police presence, of course, is not the sole solution. Property owners and local residents all must be accountable to ensure that their own properties are secure. In one case, an unsecured shed provided the necessary temptation to a person with criminal motives.  In another, access was gained by a window air conditioning unit that was not securely installed.

Nothing that you do will thwart a person intent on gaining access.  However, chances are that if you make entry more of a challenge, the perp will go on to easier pickin's.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Good police work discovers illegal gun

A Bridgeton man was found to be carrying an illegal handgun during a traffic stop in Millville.

Jeffrey T. Thomas Jr., 20, of South Avenue, Bridgeton, was charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon. He was lodged in Cumberland County Jail on $25,000 bail.
Police allegedly observed the handle of a handgun sticking out from beneath the front, passenger-side seat after stopping the car at about 12:47 a.m. Friday.
Joan M. Simon, 29, and Jennifer M. Dilks, 31, both of Morias Avenue, were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and released on their own recognizance.
Imagine that - Jennifer Dilks with drug paraphernalia. I have a concept for a new city ordinance - if you have been arrested more than fifty times, perhaps you could be forbidden from being in the city limits!

Another man shot in Millville

A Deerfield man in Millville was shot three times. Unfortunately the wounds were superficial.

Markese Childers, 26, of Irving Avenue, in Upper Deerfield, sustained three superficial wounds in the gunfire. He had left the scene by the time police arrived to the shooting scene.

Police recovered 50 bags of heroin from the car, according to Millville Police Det. Lt. Les Watson, while investigating the gunfire.
And we now have nine less police personnel to handle these incidents.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Eight Police Officers and one Dispatcher to be Fired

It's official - pink slips have been sent out to Millville police officers.
Official layoff notices have been sent out to members of the Millville Police Department, as part of the municipal government's plan to share financial pain across all city departments in order to avoid a tax increase next year.
Police Benevolent Association Local 213 President Anthony Loteck earlier this month criticized the city commission for its plan to lay off public safety employees, stating the police department is already four short of its goal of 87 officers.
It is time for the police union to stop playing games and make some tough decisions. For instance, if the police union agrees to  negotiate rather than pay hardball, perhaps the jobs could be saved. Perhaps a furlough day, as distasteful as I find the method, could save some jobs.

Our local economy will not be helped by adding to the unemployment rolls. We already face a 14% unemployment rate in the county. Over 40 city workers saw pinks slips this week already, and there are no new jobs to be found. The city workers that did keep their jobs all saw a reduction in hours worked. For those on a tight budget, barely making mortgage payments as it is, these cuts might be the tipping point of even more foreclosures. But 90% is better than zero%.

For the good of the community, negotiations must begin in earnest. We need to keep good cops in Millville, and we need to be in a position to attract more new cops when hiring. Firing cops to save a few dollars is not the path to accomplish this.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The state of the Millville Police Department

By now you are aware of the proposed cuts to the Millville Police Department in order to save a few tax dollars. In my opinion, these cuts are short-sighted, and the numbers being thrown around do not reflect reality.

There is a so-called watchdog organization in the city that is wholeheartedly supporting a reduction in our police department.  The call to fire police officers have been made by Porreca and Tesoroni on some online forums, as they throw out bogus numbers and misinformation. It should be noted that none of the principles of this group live in or even near the high crime areas in Millville.

It is also interesting to note that the former judge argued on behalf of bringing housing projects (Delsea Gardens for one) into Millville even though we didn't have a need for them at the time. He said this would be good for Millville. It is easy to trace the root cause of our problems today to this call in bad judgment in the 1970's.

They want a reduction in police so that they can save a few dollars, even though the judge gets a massive tax abatement annually to the tune of $42,000.

They argue that Millville has not grown in area, and so we do not need more officers than we had in the 1980's (we are dropping below that level of law enforcement support quickly). As usual, they use numbers to confuse. Of course the city did not expand in area - that argument is insipid. However, the city has grown in population significantly. They blandly ignore this fact.

Here are the real numbers surrounding the MPD - the city is supposed to have 83 cops.  There are three vacant positions.that leaves us at 80.

There is a retirement looming, and that position will not be filled - 79.

Four more retirements this year that will not be filled - 75.

Eight to be laid off - 67 by the end of 2010.

There are 11 sergeants, 4 lieutenants, 1 captain and 1 chief.  That leaves us with 50 officers to cover the 44 square miles of the City of Millville 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

That 50 includes the uniform guys, detectives, narcotics, what have you - not just patrol officers. Did you know the Traffic Safety position has been eliminated? There are no school officers. The Narcotics Division  consists of one narcotics officer and his sergeant.

To add insult to injury, it appears eminent that the UEZ funds are being yanked. That UEZ money pays the salaries of four officers. So that 67 now diminished to a police force of 63. For a group that claims to be placing Millville first, they are putting public safety last.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More gun-play in Millville

There was more gun-play in Millville this weekend, only this time it was in the 3rd Ward.

Police dispatched to the area of Buck and Foundry streets Sunday night at 10:09 on a report of a gunshot victim learned through their investigation that no one had been shot, but rather that bullets were fired into an occupied car parked on the first block of East Foundry Street.

The victim, whose name was not released by police, told investigators she was sitting in her car in front of her home, listening to music, when two black males approached it along its passenger side and one of them began firing shots into it.

The two black males then fled toward Buck Street.

Det. Bruce Cornish is continuing the investigation into the gunfire.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Get the word out

Please pass this website long to interested friends and neighbors. I will do my best to make sure it is regularly updated with the latest news.

The URL is: - notice there is NO WWW.

More gunfire in Millville

I heard rumors of this before it hit the papers. Willie Palmer was on the receiving end of the gun late Thursday night.  A Willie Palmer has drug convictions dating back to 2002; are they the same person?
Police were sent at 11:26 p.m. to North 3rd and Oak streets on a report of a group of males with guns.
“While police were responding, another call reported that a gunshot victim was in the area of 2nd and Main streets,” Watson said. Palmer was found at the corner.
Meanwhile there was another report of gunfire at 6th and Sassafras.
Additional calls reported gunshots heard in the area of 6th and Sassafras streets, but those are believed to be separate from the Palmer shooting. There is no suspect.
And Summer has not even arrived...

A Letter to the Editor

This appeared in the News of Cumberland County today

Don’t sacrifice safety by cutting Millville cops

May 06, 2010, 4:44PM
To the Editor:

I read with dismay that the city of Millville is considering eliminating nine police jobs. This includes the elimination of eight police officers, and one dispatcher.

The city commission should be commended for making the tough decisions, with cuts across the board. This is a bad economy, and it cannot be easy watching people you have known all of your life losing their jobs.

However, these cuts in the police department are shortsighted, and will cost us more in the long run. Monday night we were walking through Center City on Dotty’s (Wilkerson) Walk when a police alert came through that a male was seen with a gun. Shortly afterward we heard a gunshot. Millville police had the suspect within 10 minutes.

There is a disturbing trend of increasing incidents involving gunfire, resulting most recently in a death, as well as several people wounded so far this year. This is not to even mention the multiple reports of gunfire I daily hear from residents in Center City and the Third Ward.

Last Wednesday night at 11:30 p.m. — a riot on 4th Street between Sassafras and Pine. I called Millville dispatch and cars were there in two minutes, and within 10 minutes the entire melee had been dispersed.

On the other hand, the Cumberland County 911 dispatchers have argued with citizens that 2nd Street and Vine Street do not intersect!

It is going to be a hot summer, and to eliminate necessary manpower from a department that covers 42 square miles will only result in longer response times. Eliminating jobs from dispatch will cause delays. During the summer months our dispatchers know me by my voice when I call in.

Until the city gets the pockets of criminal activity under control in our neighborhoods, pulls the illegal guns off of the streets, we need to think twice before sacrificing public safety.

Carl B. Johnson

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Millville to cut Nine Police Positions

Millville City Commission is considering cutting nine police jobs. This is bad news. There have been incidents involving gunfire virtually every week.  We have had a murder in south Millville, and numerous shootings involving bodily injury since the weather broke. It is only going to get worse.

Please consider writing letters to the editor and expressing your concern with this shortsighted move. The Millville Police department covers 42 square miles. Law enforcement and public safety are not areas to be considered for cuts.

Here are the emails of local newspapers
Press of Atlantic City:
News of Cumberland County:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's going to be a hot summer

Little Dottie's doctor gave her orders to get rest and not to exert herself, and that includes walking. Last Monday we walked, and dropped by her house.

During the walk a police call came over the radio about a black male with a gun in the waste-band of his sweat pants walking in center city, on 4th St. near Main St. Shortly afterward we heard a gunshot. This was a few blocks from where we were walking.

Millville Police acted quickly and apprehended the suspect within ten minutes. I have a feeling it is going to be a busy summer for the MPD.

Speaking of abusy summer, I have not seen the bike cops in a couple weeks. Last night there was a near riot on 4th St. between Sassafras and Pine Sts. at 11:25pm. I think the mob was 40 to 50 strong. Police disbursed the crowd within 5 minutes of my phone call, but I believe that a police presence in Center City on these warm nights would have prevented the sort of flash mob starting in the first place.

Is anybody local monitoring Facebook and Myspace for this sort of activity?