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Bergen SWAT Takes Down Armed Robbery Suspect

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgefield Park NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrests of JULIAN MANGAL (DOB: 4/26/2000; single; unemployed) of 53 Maple Street, Richland Town, PA, on charges of Robbery, Burglary, Aggravated Assault, Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose, Assault By Pointing A Firearm, Theft, and Resisting Arrest; RYAN BLAKE (DOB: 7/28/1999; single; unemployed) of 223 Third Street, Ridgefield Park, NJ, on a charge of Resisting Arrest; and TYSHEEM CLINTON-MCQUEEN (DOB: 3/8/1996; single; unemployed) of 28 Franklin Street, Little Ferry, NJ, a charge of Supplying A Handgun. The arrests are the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Ridgefield Park Police Department under the direction of Chief Edward Rose.

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, the Ridgefield Park Police Department contacted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Squad about an armed home invasion robbery. In the course of the robbery, the homeowner was slashed by a knife and hit in the head with a gun by an intruder. The intruder, who was later identified as Julian MANGAL, fled after taking the homeowner’s wallet and cellular telephone. As a result of the investigation, an arrest warrant for MANGAL was issued.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ridgefield Park Police Department located Julian MANGAL at the Knights Inn Motel on Route 46 in South Hackensack, NJ. The Bergen County Regional SWAT team assisted in the response and ultimately arrested MANGAL and another individual, Ryan BLAKE, who had attempted to flee through a crawl space in one of the hotel rooms.

On December 19, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the residence of Tysheem CLINTON-MCQUEEN in Little Ferry, NJ. Tysheem CLINTON-MCQUEEN was arrested and charged with Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4A(2), a 2nd degree crime. He was remanded to the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack pending a detention hearing scheduled for Monday, December 24, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.

Julian MANGAL was charged with three counts of Robbery, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1A(2), a 1st degree crime; four counts of Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4A(1), a 2nd degree crime; three counts of Aggravated Assault, by pointing a firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1B(4), a 2nd degree crime; two counts of Aggravated Assault, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1B(2), a 2nd degree crime; two counts of Burglary, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2A(1), a 3rd degree crime; three counts of Theft, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3, a 4th degree crime; and one count of Resisting Arrest, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2A(2), a 4th degree crime. He was remanded to the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack pending a detention hearing scheduled for Monday, December 24, 2018.

Ryan BLAKE was charged with one count of Resisting Arrest, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2A(2), a 4th degree crime. He was released on a summons and is scheduled for an appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on January 3, 2019.

Acting Prosecutor Calo states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He would also like to thank the Ridgefield Park Police Department, South Hackensack Police Department, and Little Ferry Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.

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RIDGEFIELD PARK COUPLE CHARGED WITH DISTRIBUTION OF HEROIN, INFRONT OF A 13 YEAR OLD

heroin

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgefield Park NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of DERAN ROGERS (DOB: 07/13/1973; single; employed as an electrical technician) of 586 East 39th Street, Paterson, NJ and MARITZA RODRIGUEZ (DOB: 02/09/1966; single; self-employed) of 86 Hudson Avenue, 3rd Floor, Ridgefield Park, NJ, on charges of Distribution Of A Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Heroin, Possession With Intent To Distribute A Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Heroin and Crack-Cocaine, and Endangering The Welfare Of A Child. The arrests are the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Ridgefield Park Police Department under the direction of Chief Edward Rose.

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, pursuant to a narcotics investigation, law enforcement officers from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ridgefield Park Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence of Maritza RODRIGUEZ in Ridgefield Park. A 13-year-old male was in the residence during the search. He was released to his father at the scene. During the search, law enforcement personnel located and seized approximately 350 wax paper folds containing suspected Heroin and approximately 47 baggies containing suspected Crack-Cocaine.

Maritza RODRIGUEZ was arrested on December 19, 2018, in Ridgefield Park and charged with one count of Endangering The Welfare Of A Child, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4A(2), a 2nd degree crime; one count of Distribution Of A Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Heroin, in an amount less than one-half ounce, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(3), a 3rd degree crime; two counts of Possession With Intent To Distribute A Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Heroin and Crack-Cocaine, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(3), a 3rd degree crime; and one count of Possession With Intent to Distribute A Controlled Dangerous Substance Within 1,000 Feet Of School Property, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7A, a 3rd degree crime. RODRIGUEZ is scheduled for a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on Wednesday, January 9, 2018, at 8:30 a.m.

Deran ROGERS was arrested on December 19, 2018, at RODRIGUEZ’s residence in Ridgefield Park and charged with three counts of Distribution Of A Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Heroin, in an amount less than one-half ounce, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(3), a 3rd degree crime; two counts of Possession With Intent To Distribute A Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Heroin and Crack-Cocaine, in an amount less than one-half ounce, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(3), a 3rd degree crime; one count of Possession With Intent to Distribute A Controlled Dangerous Substance Within 1,000 Feet Of School Property, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7A, a 3rd degree crime; one count of Endangering The Welfare Of A Child, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4A, a 3rd degree crime; and one count of Conspiracy To Distribute A Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Heroin, in an amount less than one-half ounce, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2/2C:35-5B(3), a 4th degree crime. ROGERS was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending an appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

Acting Prosecutor Calo states that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and would also like to thank the Ridgefield Park Police Department for its assistance in this investigation

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Shooting in Bogota Leaves One Dead

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Bogota NJ, Acting Prosecutor Dennis Calo announces the following information:

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Bogota Police Department, and other local agencies are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred early this morning, December 12, 2018, in Bogota, NJ.  

At approximately 1:43 a.m., the Bogota Police Department received a 9-1-1 call of shots fired outside Buddy’s Bar, 13 East Fort Lee Road, Bogota, NJ.  Officers from the Bogota, Teaneck, and Ridgefield Park Police Departments responded to the scene, where they found a 28-year-old male on the front lawn of a nearby house, 286 Leonia Avenue, Bogota, suffering from a single gunshot wound.  The victim was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The suspects fled the scene.  The investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released at a later time. 

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Ridgewood Teachers 8th Highest Paid in Bergen County and 31st Highest Paid in the Garden State

photo courtesy of the NEA

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The state Department of Education recently released its annual Taxpayer’s Guide to Education Spending for 2018, which shows the median salary in every New Jersey school district and charter school.

Continue reading Ridgewood Teachers 8th Highest Paid in Bergen County and 31st Highest Paid in the Garden State

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1 in10 New Jersey Residents is a Non-Citizen

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August 1,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood

Hackensack NJ, New Jersey is home to about 900,000 residents who are not United States citizens . That’ equals about 1 in 10 people in the state, according to most recent estimates. Census figures put Ridgewood’s non-citizen population at about 2,000, or approximately 8 percent of the village’s 25,500 residents.

The Ridgewood Public Library even hosts six-week program meets twice weekly for 90-minute classes. It uses the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services booklet “Learn About the United States, Quick Civic Lessons for the Naturalization Test.”

The federal government is planning to have the 2020 Census ask people their citizenship status. Many elected officials and community advocates say such a question could threaten federal funding for states like New Jersey.

The simple solution would be to create more US citizens in order to safe guard Federal Funds .

The next Census Day is set for April 1, 2020, and a 2017 release from the U.S. Census Bureau identified the date for wording of all Census questions to be submitted to Congress as March 31 of this year. So for those fighting for a question on citizenship status to be excluded, the clock has been ticking for months already.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of the issue the Ridgewood blog has listed the towns the have the largest concentration of Non-citizens in Bergen County .

Palisades Park
U.S.-born citizens: 6,887
Naturalized citizens: 6,057
Non-citizens: 7,215 — 35%

South Hackensack
U.S.-born citizens: 1,534
Naturalized citizens: 455
Non-citizens: 725 — 27%

Fairview
U.S.-born citizens: 6,843
Naturalized citizens: 3,687
Non-citizens: 3,608 — 25%

Little Ferry
U.S.-born citizens: 5,669
Naturalized citizens: 2,570
Non-citizens: 2,431 — 22%

Hackensack
U.S.-born citizens: 25,272
Naturalized citizens: 8,238
Non-citizens: 9,631 — 22%

Fort Lee
U.S.-born citizens: 16,475
Naturalized citizens: 11,398
Non-citizens: 7,941 — 22%

Leonia
U.S.-born citizens: 4,853
Naturalized citizens: 2,220
Non-citizens: 1,935 — 21%

Teterboro
U.S.-born citizens: 63
Naturalized citizens: 5
Non-citizens: 18 — 21%

Edgewater
U.S.-born citizens: 6,698
Naturalized citizens: 2,559
Non-citizens: 2,503 — 21%

Garfield
U.S.-born citizens: 17,663
Naturalized citizens: 6,885
Non-citizens: 6,251 — 20%

Ridgefield
U.S.-born citizens: 5,790
Naturalized citizens: 3,087
Non-citizens: 2,208 — 20%

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NJ TRANSIT BUS ROUTES FROM RIDGEWOOD TO DETOUR AS ROUTE 495 LANE CLOSURES SET TO BEGIN

Ridgewood-bus_terminal_theridgewoodblog

August 1,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  To accommodate the lane closures necessary as part of the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) rehabilitation of the Route 495 Bridge over Routes 1&9 and Paterson Plank Road in North Bergen, several NJ TRANSIT local bus routes will require detours.

The Exclusive Bus Lane (XBL) will be maintained weekday mornings (6 a.m. – 10 a.m.) throughout the construction.

Beginning Friday night, August 10, the 31st Street ramp from Kennedy Boulevard to Route 495 westbound will be closed with traffic detoured onto Paterson Plank Road, directly affecting NJ TRANSIT’s local service on 18 bus routes requiring detours in the afternoon and at night. A week later, on Friday, August 17, one lane of Route 495 in each direction will be closed, limiting the roadway capacity and causing severe congestion. The construction requiring detours is anticipated to last approximately two and a half years.

· Buses will operate their regular routing westbound along 31st Street through Union City the entire span of the day.

· All current Union City bus stops on 31st Street will be served, including both Bergenline Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard.

· Between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekdays, all NJ TRANSIT Buses using the 31st Street ramp will follow regular routes and continue to have access to Route 495 westbound.

· All buses between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning will continue to use the 31st Street ramp but will be detoured onto Paterson Plank Road.

· Delays through Union City are anticipated due to increased traffic volume, and customers should plan accordingly for these delays.

Buses may encounter conditions that result in significant delays in the outbound direction during both the morning and evening peak periods.

AFFECTED BUS ROUTES

The following bus routes will be detoured between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily during construction:

No. 87 Jersey City-Hoboken

No. 107 South Orange-New York

No. 108 Newark-New York

No. 111 New York-IKEA-Jersey Gardens

No. 124 Secaucus-New York

No. 127S Ridgefield-Union City-New York

No. 129 Secaucus-Union City-New York

No. 144 Elmwood Park-Hackensack-New York

No. 160 Elmwood Park-Wallington-New York

No. 161 Paterson-Passaic-New York

No. 163 Ridgewood-New York

No. 167 Harrington Park-Teaneck-New York

No. 190X Paterson-Rutherford-New York

No. 190 (local) Paterson-Rutherford-New York

No. 191 Willowbrook-Montclair-New York

No. 192 Clifton-New York

No. 195 Willowbrook-Cedar Grove-New York

No. 199 Clifton-Lyndhurst-New York

The following bus routes do not require a detour, but are expected to be impacted by delays due to increased traffic congestion:

No. 83 Hackensack-Jersey City-Journal Square

No. 85 Mill Creek-Harmon Meadow-Hoboken

No. 127 (regular) Ridgefield-Union City-New York

No. 320 Mill Creek-North Bergen Park & Ride-New York (a detour will be necessary in later stages and information will be provided in advance)

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Freight Railroad Bridge Collapses in Ridgefield Park

July 30,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgefield park NJ, A railroad bridge collapsed Saturday in Bergen County just as a freight train was passing over it, officials said. No one was injured and the rail bridge does not effect New Jersey Transit.

The track collapsed at about 8:20 a.m., according to NYSW Railroad. The train didn’t derail, but the last wheels on the last car of the train went into the water.

The rail bridge crosses Overpeck Creek in Ridgefield Park near the NJTurnpike. All operations over the bridge has been suspended.

It was scheduled to be replaced this year and contractors had already set up equipment to start driving piles on Monday, according to Nathon Fenno, a spokesman for NYSW.

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Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) service Extenting into Bergen County

July 5,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

What is Northern Branch?

The Northern Branch is a freight rail line owned by CSX Transportation that runs through Hudson and Bergen Counties to the New York State Border. The Northern Branch Corridor, through which the rail line traverses, is a densely settled suburban environment that has not been served by passenger rail since the discontinuation of service on the Northern Branch and West Shore Lines in the 1950s and 60s.


The Northern Branch Corridor Project calls for transit improvements in northeastern Hudson and southeastern Bergen Counties through the restoration of passenger rail service on an existing freight rail line. The electric light rail service would operate on West Side Avenue in North Bergen, and then on existing railroad right-of-way owned by CSX Transportation (CSX) between 91st Street in North Bergen and the northern border of Englewood and would introduce new station stops in North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, and Englewood.

Project Planning
The growth of automobile usage and accompanying roadway congestion in recent decades led planners and officials to search for solutions to the growing traffic problems in the Bergen County area. In the mid-1990s the West Shore Region Study provided a comprehensive examination of multi-modal opportunities throughout Bergen County, New Jersey and Rockland County, New York. Recommended for further study was an extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) from 85th Street in North Bergen along the Northern Branch to Tenafly, New Jersey.

The Northern Branch Corridor DEIS was prepared by NJ TRANSIT in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to evaluate the benefits, costs and social, economic and environmental impacts of constructing and operating passenger rail service on the Northern Branch. The DEIS evaluated two Build Alternatives: the Preferred Alternative, which extended existing Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) service from North Bergen to the Tenafly-Cresskill border, and a similar HBLR extension that terminated at Route 4 in Englewood.

The DEIS was published in November 2011, and can be reviewed here: Northern Branch DEIS.

Public hearings were held in January 2012, and the public comment period closed on February 21, 2012. More than 1,200 comments were received and reviewed by NJ TRANSIT. While many comments expressed support for the service, residents and community leaders in Tenafly were strongly opposed to the extension of service into their community. After considering the comments, FTA and NJ TRANSIT have developed a new alignment that would extend HBLR service from North Bergen to Englewood Hospital, which is north of Route 4 and south of Tenafly. Light rail service would not extend past Englewood.

This new alignment results in changes to the service plan and potential environmental and social impacts explored in the DEIS circulated for comment in 2012. As a result, this new alignment and associated changes have been analyzed in a Supplemental DEIS (SDEIS) and circulated for public comment and agency feedback in a process closely approximating the one undertaken for the DEIS.
The SDEIS was published on March 24, 2017, and can be reviewed here: Northern Branch SDEIS.

Similar to a DEIS, an SDEIS requires a public hearing and public comment period. The comments on the SDEIS and DEIS will be addressed together in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). A 60-day public comment period will follow the notice of availability (NOA) of the SDEIS, during which time NJ TRANSIT will hold a public hearing. Comments will be collected and reviewed in the same manner as conducted for the DEIS. Provided that the SDEIS comments do not present compelling arguments for substantial revision to the SDEIS Preferred Alternative, an FEIS will be prepared, incorporating the SDEIS findings and unchanged elements from the DEIS. A response to comments chapter will be included in the FEIS, addressing all comments received during the prior two comment periods.

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NJ Division on Civil Rights Obtains Settlements in Two Cases Where Support Dog Accommodations Were Denied for Disabled

dogs_4th_of_July_theridgewoodblog

may 29,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division on Civil Rights announced today the settlement of two separate disability discrimination cases – both involving disabled New Jersey residents who were denied permission to keep medically-prescribed support dogs by the governing boards of their respective housing complexes.
In one case, Harbortown Sail, a residential complex located in Perth Amboy, agreed to pay a condominium renter $10,000 to resolve allegations it unlawfully discriminated by denying the woman’s request to keep a support dog that her prescribing physician told the Division would lessen her reliance on opioid pain medications.

In the other case Landmark East Corp., corporate owner of a housing complex in Ridgefield Park, paid a resident $16,000 to resolve allegations it unlawfully discriminated by denying the man permission to keep a medically-prescribed support dog that his treating physician described as “necessary” for his health.

“These are fair settlements that resolve troubling cases – cases in which residents with a documented disability were treated in ‘hardball’ fashion by governing boards that apparently did not recognize the distinction between a pet and a clinically-prescribed emotional support animal,” said Attorney General Grewal. “These cases should serve as a message to landlords – as well as the governing boards of condominiums and cop-ops across the state – that the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) was created to protect the rights of people with disabilities, including those who require service dogs and emotional support animals. We are committed to upholding the LAD.”
Harbortown Sail, a townhome-style condominium community, allows unit owners to keep one domestic pet, but maintains a “no pets” policy for renters. In July 2015 a husband and wife signed a one-year lease – the wife suffers from multiple medical conditions including lupus, diabetes and neuropathy – and began occupying a two-bedroom unit, along with the wife’s support dog.

The wife – identified only as “T.D.” to protect her medical privacy – was advised by Harbortown’s management in August 2015 that as a renter she could not keep the dog. In response, T.D. submitted a letter from her treating physician opining that she “meets the definition of disability” and needs a support dog to help her cope with multiple illnesses. Harbortown’s Board rejected the doctor’s letter and denied permission for T.D. to keep the dog because the letter was not written on an authorized physician’s prescription pad.

The Board then followed up with a certified letter to T.D.’s husband advising that the couple’s lease was being terminated, and that they must vacate their rental property by January 31, 2016. Only after T.D. got rid of her support dog and advised the Board of its removal – in mid-January 2016 – did management rescind the lease termination.

During the Division on Civil Rights investigation, T.D.’s treating physician told an investigator she suffered chronic pain in her arms and lower back and the support dog helped T.D. cope better with her pain, and therefore use less opioid pain medication. The doctor also said he’d deliberately used his own office stationary in writing a letter on her behalf to the Harbortown Board, because prescription pads can be stolen.
In addition to the $10,000 settlement payout to T.D., Harbortown must revise its policy for reviewing and processing requests for exemption from its no pets rule.

Among other changes, the Board must eliminate its requirement that medical documentation be submitted only on a prescription pad. The revised policy must “acknowledge that there is a distinction between a service animal, such as a service dog, and an emotional support animal.” The updated policy also must recognize that, under the LAD “service dogs are not considered pets and shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations.”
As part of the settlement, T.D. can submit a future request for permission to keep a support dog in her unit at Harbortown, and the Board must be guided by its revised policy. The Board also must arrange training on federal and state fair housing laws for all of Harbortown’s employees and managers.

In the Landmark East case, resident H.G. suffers from anxiety and depression. Three weeks after he moved in, H.G. wrote to Landmark East requesting permission to have a five-pound terrier live with him as an emotional support animal. A letter provided by his clinical psychologist noted that H.G. required an emotional support dog to help him cope, function more normally on a daily basis, and to “mitigate the symptoms he is currently experiencing.”
In response, Landmark East’s attorney sent a letter to H.G. indicating that the Board of Directors was “extremely disturbed” by his request to keep a service dog, and also accusing him of having acted “fraudulently” by signing a “no pet/sublet” letter when he obtained his housing unit.

H.G. then obtained a second letter from his treating physician explaining that an emotional support animal is “necessary for his emotional/mental health.” H.G. did not formally submit the letter to Landmark East, however, because he was unable to obtain a “physician’s verification request form” that he was told must accompany the submission. In fact, no such form existed.

On August 19, 2015, Landmark East sent a Notice of Violation to H.G. stating that he was in breach of the complex’s no pets restriction, and that his account would be fined $25 per week while the dog remained in his unit.
Landmark also threatened to terminate H.G.’s ownership interest in his unit within a week and sell his shared at public auction. After H.G. sought recourse through the Division on Civil Rights and incurred thousands of dollars in legal fees, Landmark East decided that his support dog could stay.

Under the settlement announced today, the Respondent must arrange for anti-discrimination training of its property managers, and “develop policies and procedures consistent with the agreement, with the goal of ensuring compliance with the Law Against Discrimination.”

Landmark East Corp. must submit to Division monitoring of its housing practices for two years and provide anti-discrimination training for its employees, managers, board members and agents. Landmark East is also subject to a $5,000 suspended civil penalty.

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“OPERATION HELPING HAND 4”

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March 24,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

 

Hackensack NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced today the results of “Operation Helping Hand 4” – the fourth phase of an innovative law enforcement and public health initiative targeting the heroin and opioid crisis in Bergen County. The initiative was led by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office (“BCPO”), under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Calo and Chief of Detectives Robert Anzilotti, in coordination with Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III and Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino. Held from March 12 through 16, 2018, the initiative brought together Bergen County law enforcement from 30 agencies, Recovery Specialists from Children’s Aid and Family Services, clinicians and specialists from the Bergen County Department of Health Services, Division of Addiction Services, and professionals from New Bridge Medical Center to offer help to those suffering from the disease of addiction in Bergen County.

During the initiative, 37 individuals were arrested and brought to the BCPO to be processed. After they were issued summonses, largely for heroin possession, they were offered an opportunity to speak to a Recovery Specialist – a recovering addict, who has been clean and is trained to help them find treatment. This offer of help was in addition to, not in lieu of, criminal charges.

If the individual requested help, a trained clinician from the Bergen County Division of Addiction Services assessed him/her to determine the appropriate level of care and treatment needed. The clinicians, working closely with the Recovery Specialists and representatives from New Bridge Medical Center, then made arrangements for treatment, and law enforcement transported the individual to treatment.

Of the 37 individuals arrested during Operation Helping Hand 4, 19 have so far availed themselves of the treatment option, including 12 who are currently in 5-day detox programs, mostly at New Bridge Medical Center. As those individuals complete detox, longer-term treatment options are being arranged for them and their progress is being tracked by the Recovery Specialists. For those who did not avail themselves of treatment, the Recovery Specialists remain in touch with many of them and are prepared to offer help whenever they are ready to seek it.

A multi-jurisdictional task force comprised of law enforcement officers from the following agencies, under the direction of BCPO Chief Anzilotti, participated in the initiative: Bergen County Sheriff’s Office; Bergenfield Police Department; Cliffside Park Police Department; Clifton Police Department; Dumont Police Department; East Rutherford Police Department; Englewood Police Department; Elmwood Park Police Department; Fair Lawn Police Department; Garfield Police Department; Glen Rock Police Department; Hackensack Police Department; Lyndhurst Police Department; Mahwah Police Department; Morris County Prosecutor’s Office; New Milford Police Department; Norwood Police Department; Paramus Police Department; Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office; Paterson Police Department; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Ridgefield Park Police Department; Saddle River Police Department; Tenafly Police Department; Union County Prosecutor’s Office; Upper Saddle River Police Department and the Westwood Police Department.

Statistics compiled by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office indicate an increase in opioid use and drug overdoses in Bergen County from 2016 to the present. A preliminary analysis of overdose data by the BCPO Intel Unit and Narcotics Task Force revealed the following with respect to 2017:
507 total reported overdoses, 416 of which are currently identified as heroin/opioid-related.
Of the 308 reported overdoses, 131 were fatal overdoses; 111 of those were identified as heroin/opioid-related.
325 deployments of Narcan, the overdose reversal drug, by law enforcement officers, resulting in 245 lives saved. (Note: there were many other deployments – by parents, friends, family members, EMTs and in the ER that are not accounted for in this )

Acting Prosecutor Dennis Calo stated that “Operation Helping Hand 4 is part of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Bergen County law enforcement’s continuing effort to combat the opioid epidemic and help those who are affected by it. The Operation demonstrates the close cooperation of law enforcement, County government and Bergen County social service organizations in the fight against this epidemic and the results that are possible through that cooperation. We will continue the fight.”

Acting Prosecutor Calo would like to thank the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the Bergen County Executive, New Bridge Medical Center, Children’s Aid and Family Services, the Bergen County Department of Health Services, Division of Addiction Services, as well as all the participating law enforcement agencies for their assistance with this initiative.