Monday, July 25, 2011

Do we need all these police departments?

The Bergen County courthouse in Bergen County,...Image via Wikipedia
A Page 1 story on jury trials lacks statistics to back up the lead paragraph.

If you need a good laugh, read The Record's front-page coverage today and Sunday on the 911 caller whose hoax led to a "tense standoff in a quiet Wyckoff neighborhood."

It seems a lone house cat held off 30 officers from two towns and the Bergen County SWAT team for three hours.

Tear-gar canisters were shot through two front windows, ending the crisis and souring the pet's milk.

I looked for an editorial on Page A-11 today questioning the need for 70 police departments in Bergen County alone or perhaps calling on Governor Christie to cap the ridiculous salaries and benefits of all those petty police chiefs, as he did for school superintendents. 


'More and more'

The lead paragraph of Staff Writer Kibret Markos' story on A-1 today reports "more and more mistrials are being declared in New Jersey, and throughout the country," because jurors improperly research their cases on the Web.

But on A-6, he lists only four cases since 2009 that ended that way for that reason.

Does Editor Francis Scandale ever read the stories he puts on A-1?

Religiously frugal

On the front of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section, Orthodox Jewish parents will be prevented for at least another year from pulling off a scam on other taxpayers.

The Teaneck and Englewood parents had planned to open the Shalom Academy Charter School, which would be supported by school taxes they now pay to the two communities, even though they don't send their kids to public schools.

Now, they refuse to send their kids into minority classrooms. When the charter school opens, they'll actually be taking away funds from the public school children.

The black and Latino students are being taught to say "shalom" to programs that might be cut as a result.

Poor excuses

Hey, Columnist Mike Kelly, why should anyone sympathize with the commercial property tax problems of an antique-car dealer who can afford to live in Saddle River (L-1)?

Why isn't a story on a businessman who hopes to market a Turkish street food made from lamb intestines on the Business page (L-6)?

Oh, I guess Sykes' assignment editors couldn't find enough local news, from Hackensack and other communities, to fill the section. 

Local food

Today's Better Living cover story on "local" food is too narrowly focused.

Shoppers should be told organic strawberries flown in from Chile are far better for them -- because they aren't tainted with pesticide residue -- even though the locally grown strawberries may taste better.

See previous post: Second look at BCC stories


  1. Bergen County is one of the most over-policed, over-taxed counties in this country. There is a direct correlation between those two distinctions. The average salary of a cop in Rochelle Park is $134K, an absolute farce considering the town has under 6,000 residents and is 1 square mile in size. To add insult to injury we have not only a County Police force that serves no purpose, but a County Sheriff as well. Why the County Police have not been put to sleep for good is beyond me, but they built a $12 million dollar complex last year to help justify their existance.

  2. Yes. I agree. And The Record and other papers have gone along with this corrupt system for decades.


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