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NJ cops won’t face penalty for making too few arrests under new bill

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Under the proposal, agencies would be barred from using the number of arrests made or citations issued to evaluate an officer’s overall performance

Credit By Blake Nelson for – nj.com December 14, 2020

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey lawmakers advanced a bill Friday to prevent cops from facing demotion, discipline or pay cuts just because they didn’t arrest more people.

A department would be barred from considering the number of arrests made or citations issued when evaluating an officer’s overall performance, under a proposal (S1322) approved 6-0 by the state Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

Current law allows those statistics to be one of the factors considered when officials weigh promotions, demotions, dismissals, discipline and salaries.

Police “are all too often pressured to write more tickets to increase revenue and help municipalities balance their budgets,” state Sen. Shirley Turner, D- Mercer and one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement. Other departments have been accused of having secret arrest “quotas,” she said.

“These policies, whether written or unwritten, have fallen hardest upon low-income individuals and people of color,” Turner added.

The bill would still allow arrest and citation statistics to be tracked. The proposal must pass the full Senate and Assembly before it can head to the governor’s desk.

Several policing reforms have advanced since George Floyd protests swept the state. The governor recently signed a bill into law largely requiring departments to use body cameras, but other reforms have stalled.

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In The News

At Least 13 Shot, 1 Dead in Tenn. Grocery Store Shooting

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Collierville’s police chief called the shooting at Kroger grocery store “the most horrific event that’s occurred in” the city’s history.

September 23, 2021 – By Nelson Oliveira – Source New York Daily News

A gunman shot and killed at least one person and injured at least 12 more in a shooting Thursday afternoon at a Kroger in a Memphis suburb.

The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Collierville police chief Dale Lane told reporters at a press conference.

The chief said officers were still working Thursday afternoon to locate all the victims from the mass shooting and determine their conditions. Lane called it “the most horrific event that’s occurred in Colliverville history” and said the 12 wounded people were transported to multiple hospitals with “very serious injuries.”

Neither the shooter nor the victims have been identified.

The first shots were fired around 1:30 p.m. local time, with the first police officers reaching the scene four minutes later, according to Lane.

After the shooting stopped, cops went room to room and aisle to aisle in search of employees and shoppers who had been hiding since the bullets started flying. At least one person hid in a freezer, while another escaped to the roof, Lane said.

The shooter’s car was in the Kroger parking lot, and police were waiting Thursday afternoon for equipment to fully examine the vehicle, Lane said.

©2021 New York Daily News. 

Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Man Shoots Calif. Officer Before Standoff with Police

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An Oakland police officer was taken to the hospital in stable condition after he was shot by a man who then barricaded himself before police convinced him to surrender.

September 22, 2021 – By Rick Hurd – Source Mercury News

A person shot an Oakland police officer early Wednesday morning and later barricaded himself before crisis negotiators were able to convince him to surrender, police said.

In a series of posts on Twitter, police said the officer was in stable condition at a hospital after being shot on Telegraph Avenue.

Police said they recovered a gun from the scene.

The suspect barricaded himself with a knife in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, police said. Negotiators and members of the Oakland Police Department’s mental health team went to the scene and convinced the suspect to surrender around 8:25 a.m., police said.

The suspect had some minor self-inflicted wounds from the knife, police said. Police later recovered the knife.

(c)2021 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

Visit the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com

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Tennessee K-9 Shot Multiple Times During Foot Chase

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The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office K-9 needed surgery and was in “semi-stable” condition after being wounded by gunfire in Cleveland.

September 23, 2021 – By Ben Benton – Source Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.

Authorities in Cleveland, Tennessee, said a Bradley County Sheriff’s Office police K-9 was shot multiple times during a foot chase Wednesday morning in the woods near the Toyota of Cleveland dealership at Interstate 75’s exit 20.

Police are seeking at least four men in connection with the shooting.

The department’s K-9, Joker, had surgery Wednesday and was reported in “semi-stable” condition afterwards.

The dog has been in service with the department for the last five years and “is a cherished, loyal and devoted BCSO family member,” sheriff’s spokesperson Alana Shell said in a social media post. “Joker is truly our hero.”

Joker’s handler, deputy Eduardo Choate, was uninjured during the incident, she said.

Police received a burglary call about 2 a.m. Wednesday for Harrison Pike apartment complex, Shell said in a statement.

Officers entered the apartment complex and spotted a white Jeep Gladiator speeding onto Georgetown Road, heading toward Interstate 75, Shell said. Officers caught up to the Jeep at mile marker 25 on I-75, confirmed it was reported stolen in Hamilton County and tried to stop the vehicle.

“The suspects fled on foot into the woods around Toyota of Cleveland at Exit 20,” she said. “K-9 Joker was deployed by his handler.

“Upon making contact with the suspects, K-9 Joker was shot multiple times,” she said. “The K-9 was immediately taken to an emergency animal hospital in Chattanooga.”

While Sheriff Steve Lawson activated the department’s SWAT members and other off-duty officers to set up a perimeter in an attempt to corral the suspects, authorities were told a blue/silver 2009 4-door Lexus IS 250 with no license plate and a loud muffler had been stolen from the Withrow Road area and the suspects were headed toward Chattanooga, police said.

A witness told police the vehicle was last seen occupied by at least four men who are now considered armed and dangerous, Shell said.

“We appreciate the immediate response and wonderful collaboration between the Cleveland Police Department, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and BCSO’s SWAT Team,” Lawson said in the statement.

Chattanooga police also assisted, he said.

The investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available, Shell said.

(c)2021 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.)

Visit the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.) at www.timesfreepress.com

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