|justice #2 (Photo credit: InsideMyShell)|
2013's first regular meeting of the Pequannock Township Council saw a special presentation of awards to members of the Pequannock Township Police Department related to successful arrests of suspects in several local crimes of note.
Among these, the Bruno's Drive-Through hold-ups, in which the business was held-up at gun point by the same individual from the same vehicle twice (and a third time from a second vehicle when the first became unavailable). A suspect is now awaiting prosecution in that case thanks to the dedication of local officers who were able to identify first the vehicle involved, then a suspect by interviewing the owner of that vehicle.
In another case, a manager of the local McDonald's (closed permanently after Hurricane Irene) was robbed by two men in the Wells Fargo parking lot on Rt.23 while depositing the day's earnings. That case is also awaiting prosecution after a long and complex multi-jurisdictional investigation.
More recently, two men were caught, with burglary tools and loot in their possession after breaking into a car in the Chilton Hospital parking lot. In this case, not only are we thankful for the quick response of the officers involved, but also for the good Samaritan who took time out to notice these men behaving oddly and to call police. It would have been much easier to walk on by, but this witness chose to do the right thing and we're lucky to have them as a member of our community.
Crime and punishment, law and order is all about community. Some of the 500+ townships in New Jersey are "drive-through" communities: their main road is a highway and they may not even be served by a local police department, but instead by the State Police. Criminals target communities like that because they perceive them as easy marks. Once again, our community, through it's dedicated police department, has demonstrated to the public that we are not a drive through community, that we will maintain the peace and tranquility of suburban life, and that if you plan on coming to Pequannock to commit a crime, you will be caught. In fact, it's probably safe to say from looking at the police blotter that if you're committing a crime, driving through Pequannock is one of the best ways to get caught.
This same meeting also saw a few promotions within the department, highlighting not only the excellent quality of our officers, but the positive department culture which has encourage these individuals to remain in the community and become a part of the department's brain-trust through their years of experience.
Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region. Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children. Christopher Lotito Profile