June 3rd, 2020
To Our Maplewood Community,
As Chief of the Maplewood Police, I would like to address the horrific murder of George Floyd at the hand of Police Officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Firstly, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the entire Floyd family for their tragic loss. I am personally outraged at this senseless loss of life. This man died as result of an accusation that he passed a counterfeit $20.00 bill. I am having trouble grasping the reality of this situation. If $20.00 is the value of a human life, then nobody is safe. George Floyd was treated without regard for humanity. There are no excuses for what happened to Mr. Floyd. He was handcuffed, held down by multiple officers, one of which had their knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck and made him suffer as he gasped for air and pleaded for help. These officers must be held responsible for their actions including those who just stood by and did not help Mr. Floyd.
In full transparency, I must acknowledge this Police Department has dealt with complaints of excessive force and misconduct in the past. I recognized that this history would change the relationship between Police and the community for many years to come. As the new Police Chief, I assembled a team of qualified diverse officers to help change the culture in the Police Department. There was no room for excuses or denial. We have learned a great many things along the way and that the officers would not accept change easily. Rebuilding trust and relationships in the community could not be set on a timetable and would have to be earned.
The Department established goals and objectives as part of this change in culture.
Why do these types of tragedies continue to happen?
Simply, it is a lack of vision, accountability and follow up. Change in department policy must be real and not just politics. And it must be accompanied with a comprehensive plan.
Law Enforcement Executives can expect that there will be limited or no help from outside agencies.
First there must be acknowledgement that change is necessary.
The department must commit to change as we stand shoulder and shoulder with our community.
The Law Enforcement Executive should prepare a plan to the Appropriate Authority for review.
A plan with goals, objectives, timelines, accountability requirements and ways to measure the effectiveness of not only the plan but its implementation. The plan must be publicly available for the entire community to read. It is crucial for the Law Enforcement Executive and the entire Command Staff to know all aspects of the plan. They will have to deliver a unified message to all personnel on how they can take personal ownership in their part of the plan. The plan must include reporting from the Law Enforcement Executive to be effective. There must be a performance evaluation mechanism for the Law Enforcement Executive as well.
To enact change and provide true justice, employment laws need to be changed or strengthened to make it easier to terminate officers before a tragedy occurs.
The public is outraged and rightfully so because they don’t trust or believe that anything will change.
Hold people accountable! Be accountable!
Don’t defend or make excuses for bad officers!
Don’t ignore what is right in front of you!
Don’t let this happen in your community!
Take a stand for what is best for our community!
June 15, 2020; Rummaging: An unsecured vehicle parked on Midland Blvd was rummaged through during the overnight hours. At the time of the report, nothing was believed to be missing.
June 16, 2020; Vehicle Recovery; A vehicle stolen out of Newark was located parked on Hillcrest Rd.
June 18, 2020; Bicycle Thefts; During the afternoon hours two bicycles were stolen from Underhill Field.
June 20, 2020; Bicycle Theft; At approximately 8 pm, a bicycle was stolen from the rear of a home on Highland Ave.
June 22, 2020; Package Theft; During the daytime hours a package was removed from in front of a home on Indiana St.
June 22, 2020; Shoplifting/Robbery; At approximately 3:45 pm, Officers responded to the 7-11 on Irvington Ave on a reported shoplifter. Officers were able to locate the subject that had left the store with two beverages. After locating the male, Adam Gregory, 39 of Newark, it was learned that prior to the shoplifting incident he had attempted to take a cell phone from a 17 year old female that was waiting at the bus stop. He was taken into custody, charged and transported to Essex County Jail.
June 27, 2020; Stolen Vehicle; An unsecured vehicle parked on Claremont Ave with the key fob in it was stolen during the overnight hours. It was recovered in Belleville.
June 27, 2020; Robbery; At approximately 10:45 pm, a 22 year old male waiting at the bus stop in front of Maplewood Diner was assaulted by two males and his wallet and backpack taken. The males fled on Chancellor Ave into Irvington following the robbery. The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
June 29, 2020; Attempted Auto Theft; During the overnight hours an unsecured vehicle parked in a lot on the 1500 block of Springfield Ave was entered. Damage consistent with an attempted theft of the vehicle was caused to the steering column and ignition.
June 30, 2020; Theft from Auto; At approximately 1:30 pm a wallet was stolen from an unsecured vehicle parked in the driveway of a home on Burr Rd.
July 5, 2020; Bicycle Theft; At approximately 7:45 pm, a bicycle left outside of Wawa unsecured was stolen.
July 5, 2020; Stolen Vehicle; At approximately 8 am, a vehicle parked at Wawa was stolen by an acquaintance of the owner who was seated in the passenger seat while the owner entered the store. The vehicle was later recovered in Newark.
July 6, 2020: Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours entry was gained to a work van parked on the 1800 block of Springfield Ave and several tools were stolen.
July 6, 2020; Package Thefts; On two different occasions on this date packages were stolen from the front of a home on Ohio St.
The Maplewood Police Department works hard to protect the residents and their property. We are asking that you assist us in this effort by making sure all vehicles and homes are properly secured at all times. All charges are merely accusations. Each suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Thank You