The recent shooting at a school in Parkland, FL has evoked a new awareness in New Jersey regarding tips that the Police should further investigate among other grievances. Specifically, the lack of scrutiny by the Raritan Township Police Department, located in the center of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, has provoked frustration for many residents and people who pass through the County. Not only are residents concerned about the lack of diligence, but some organizations, including one responsible for Police accountability, will be touring the county next week.
Raritan Township is a highly taxed county, which boasts a median annual household income of over $100,000. This rural area, with a population of slightly over 20,000 people, is often listed as one of the wealthiest counties in the United States.
The problematic interactions that residents are having with the police include an allegation of weapons being transported from Pennsylvania into the County which did not merit Police investigation. In fact, a Police representative stated that the claim does not presently warrant inquiry. In another instance, a woman claims she was intimidated by cops when she reported damage to her vehicle. The officer apparently raised his voice and argued with her, thwarting the progress of her claim, and forcing her to choose to drive away.
A frustrating incident occurred in the same county, when a call was made to Protective Services regarding the abuse of an elderly person. Apparently, someone reported that an elderly woman was being neglected, which turned out to be a fraudulent claim. The family member who made the call admitted that this happened because she objected to her inheritance being spent on her elderly mother’s care. Police follow-up was minimal, although a police report was generated. They found no abuse in their investigation. The resident raised questions regarding the authenticity of the police report. She also claims that the Social Worker from Protective Services, Susan Nekola, failed to follow-up or report anything, seemingly substantiated by a recording. Now, Internal Affairs is investigating the matter.
Yet another illustration of the lack of discretion occurred when the Township police pulled over a student leaving high school. Not only did 3 police cars show up on the scene, but one cop pulled the student and his girlfriend out of the car. It seems that excess in moderate cases and leniency in the most dangerous scenarios is the norm. The Township residents are finally voicing their resentment. Change must occur to prevent further misgivings and to uphold the esteemed reputation that the Township has maintained.
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Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.