How Far Can
a Mayor Go?
Police and Law Enforcement News
Sunday, August 26, 2009 9:50 a.m.
in Atlantic City, and it ainít the buffet at the Trop.
In a very unusual
move, the mayor of the city pulled the police departmentís k-9 unit.
From the Press of
administration ordered major changes to the city's Police Department on
Monday that could save city money, quell resident complaints and, at the
same time, possibly put the public's safety at risk.
Administrator Michael Scott ordered Police Chief John J. Mooney to
indefinitely cease the use of police canines and prohibit officers,
along with other resort officials, from bringing their city-issued
wasted no time responding to the order and criticizing Mayor Langford.
Also from the Press:
Department is being targeted by the administration," Mooney said. "I
think it's political in nature and clearly directed at me." He
said Monday he plans to sue the city, claiming the mayor does not
have the authority to interfere with the department's daily
This is an
extremely troubling situation.
Police dogs are
used to aid and protect police officers; they are not pawns on the
pissing match chessboard.
Police dogs are
often sent into situations so we donít have to send risk a human
officer. Pulling a K-9 unit exposes line officers to more dangers.
In the same
article, Kevin Hall, a spokesman for Mayor Langford, is quoted as saying
that the dogsí reactions during apprehensions have been resulting in
daily complaints to the Mayor's Office
huh? Why does this just not ring true? ďDailyĒ just sounds a bit much.
If there have been
daily complaints, were they forwarded to the internal affairs section of
the Atlantic City Police Department? If the complaints were potentially
criminal, was the Atlantic County Prosecutorís Office notified? And
there should be records of both?
We can all agree
that it is the mayor who runs a town, not the police department or the
police chief. The mayor is who the people elected.
must be and are limitations as to how far a mayor or any elected
official can delve into the running of a police department.
Mayors can reduce
funding, make inquiries, and even pull the take-home cars. However,
they cannot answer calls, run investigations or green-light snipers.
Everyone needs to
be monitoring was goes on here closely.
hopefully, this is on the radar for the New Jersey Police Chiefs
your Thoughts on This
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DO NOT WRITE IN ALL
The interesting thing will be when one of those K-9 officers gets into a
use of force situation and uses deadly force because his option of the
lesser mechanical force "the dog" is no longer here. Will the mayor
then stand up to the people of Atlantic City and maybe take the blame?
Outside of the right to cut funding and direct the use of patrol
vehicles, its clear under 40A that the Chief is in charge of the
day-to-day operations of the department. The Mayor is clearly
overstepping his bounds.
It is troubling to hear that the Mayor of Atlantic City believes he has
the authority to override the Chief of Police regarding specific police
units. K9 units are a huge asset to any police department, especially
in an urban setting. Eliminating a K9 unit as a cost saving measure is
short sighted and foolish. After all, hundreds of hours of training and
funding has already been applied to furnish the police department with
K9 units. Is all that spent money supposed to go to waist now?
I came from a department that also had the canine unit ended by a mayor.
I sounds like Atlantic City has the same incompetent Mayor.
It is a fact that canine units save money and saves Lives which is the
business we are in.
When you have a canine unit you will save on man power.
A police officer and a dog in most situations is comparable as to five
Figure it out Mayor canines saves lives and money!!!!