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A Sidelined Dog, an Injured Cop, and a
A Sidelined Dog, an
Injured Cop, and a Remorseless Mayor
Law Enforcement News
Monday, September 7, 2009 9:50 p.m.
those not following the situation in Atlantic City, youíre
missing quite a fracas.
month Mayor Lorenzo Langford pulled the entire K-9 unit of
the Atlantic City Police Department against the wishes of
Police Chief John Mooney. Many, including us (See
How Far Can a Mayor Go?), questioned whether the
mayor was out of bounds by involving himself with the
day-to-day operations of the police department.
Unfortunately, that question remains unanswered.
the situation in Atlantic City continues to swing between
the bizarre and the scary.
begin with the bizarre.
the September 1st
Press of Atlantic City:
The mayor defended his
decision to cease the use of patrol dogs conducting an
investigation, arguing that city employees are commonly
suspended over allegations until an investigation can be
comparing of police dogs to city employees begs for a
satirical response. Itís a softball for any writer not
completely void of wit. Unfortunately, the situation has
deteriorated to a point where satire would be inappropriate.
Tuesday night, Atlantic City K-9 Officer Frank Timek rushed
to the aid of another officer in an altercation. Officer
Timek did not have his partner Vader, a fully trained
patrol, narcotics, and apprehension dog, at his side.
officers won the violent confrontation with the alleged
drunken mixed martial artist who managed to get hold of one
of the officersí batons. However, Officer Timek wound up in
the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center for injuries
sustained to his head, knees, and hands during the fight.
while Officer Timekís dog Vader would have most certainly
brought the suspect down single-handedly, the most probable
outcome would have been the suspect conceding without a
fight just from the mere intimidating presence of the
trained, police patrol dog.
dogs will apparently remain sidelined until the mayorís
office completes their investigation into the supposed
police brutality complaints. In other departments, such
complaints are handled in accordance with strict guidelines
issued by the New Jersey Attorney General. Apparently,
Atlantic City has seceded from the state or at least the
stateís laws regarding internal affairs investigations.
entire situation is only going to worsen for Mayor
Langford. Most certainly, he has already lost the faith and
support of the rank and file of his police department. The
local media are even questioning his actions.
Pulling an entire K-9 unit from a police department based on
unsubstantiated and uninvestigated complaints isnít
leadership: itís showboating.
end of the day, itís rather simple: if there is a complaint,
thoroughly investigate it; if there is a violation,
thoroughly punish it; and if there is a false allegation,
thoroughly defend against it.
police officers in Atlantic City donít work in those several
blocks we visit each year for mini-conventions and expos.
They work in areas some would call war zones. They
work in areas where good people trapped by history or
circumstances need their local police and everything in
their arsenal desperately.
them the tools they need. Give them the dogs.
your Thoughts on This
While all opinions will be considered, we will not post any messages
that are inflammatory, that bash any ethnic group, or that are just
beyond reason. Letters will be reviewed and posted each day.
NJLawman.com reserves the right to alter, shorten, or decline any
NOT WRITE IN ALL CAPITALS! Please.
The mayor is not trained in police tactics, not trained in criminal law
yet is in control of decisions regarding both. Hmm, sounds like this
mayor should just make himself the chief, set up a 1 day class and make
himself a cop.. Oh wait that was done before and ended poorly for the
"gentleman" that tried it...
On the other hand when or if a cop or worse a civilian gets harmed due
to POLITICAL INTERFERENCE maybe just maybe the A. G. or maybe even a
certain Governor that was " a lawyer " will stop the insanity !!!
Forcing officers to leave valuable enforcement tools on the sidelines is
stupid. Criminals that aren't afraid to fight the Police, are afraid of
the dog and will submit with less chance of an officer having to risk
injury. Who are we really protecting here? End the nonsense, leave day
to day operations to the people trained in running them and not the
winners of a popularity contest.
A law enforcement administrator should be charged with making such a
decision, not a politician with no police experience. This was obviously
a panicked decision by a politician who is looking only out for himself
and not the officers who serve and protect his dumb ass. I find it
hard to believe that their is a brutality complaint under investigation
for every individual handler and his K9 partner within Atlantic City
Police. If their was wrong doing by an individual officer then go after
him, not the entire unit. If a similar compliant comes against a single
patrol officer, do you remove all of those officers until the complaint
is investigated?? I am so tired of uninformed morons who get appointed
to these positions. Mr. Mayor, you should do a ride along with a canine
handler for a week in that battlefield of a city and then decide. You
Mayors have no place in the police dept-that's why there's a chief. Let
the mayor be the mayor and the chief do the job that he has earned.
ACPD be assured that mayor will need/want something from you one day. I
cant wait to hear that you couldn't serve him to the best of your
ability because you had no K-9 available. KARMA will be on your side
for this one.
A Previous Poster said:
"Police dogs are the tools of oppression that serve
no legitimate purpose other than to induce fear and as an excuse to
bypass judges for warrantless searches violating our 4th amendment.
Any dog can be trained to bark on command and that's just the excuse
that's needed in order to violate your rights. If people want to be
police, then follow our laws, and do the work yourselves. Is Police
work too dangerous? Then quit."
"Regarding your comment on bypassing judges, that is
not true. You do not need a search warrant to use a dog in areas
available to the public. This would include the exterior of a
My response: I don't think that the previous poster was complaining
about the dog sniff that occurs outside the vehicle / locker /
whatever. I think he was complaining that this should not be considered
as probable cause to go inside the private area. I think the previous
poster is correct, too, about everything.
I wouldn't want to be on the other end of this Officer's lawsuit when it
rolls in. The fact is plain and simple as the editorial stated the
officer would not have been injured and the confrontation would than
most likely would not have occured had he had Vader with him. Officer
Timek and the rest of the ACPD goodluck and you have the support of the
NJ Police community as a whole. Thank you for your service.
Ptlm. Nick Barbetta #2608
South Harrison Police Dept.
It's always nice to hear words of encouragement and support from
someone, somewhere, other then the men and women in the same uniform as
THANK YOU NJLAWMAN for your support!
Ptl. F. Ingargiola #752 ACPD
ACPDs K-9 Unit is the political football plain and simple. I've read in
the AC Press about the so called criminal I mean public outcry. Its
funny how they leave out what it was that these so called victims were
actually bit for, I'm sure it wasn't for jay-walking. If your not doing
anything wrong then you should have no fear of a police dog.
Stay safe ACPD don't let these savages bring you down!!!
No legitimate purpose? That could be the dumbest thing I have ever
heard. Police work is about having the right set of tools for the
situation. Without dogs you can guarantee yourself a higher number of
deaths both police and suspects
The basic problem in Atlantic City politics is it is a one party system.
There is never a choice for residence as their votes don't count. Each
election year there is usually only two candidates to choose from.
They are both Democrats. As in past Atlantic City elections they are
completely corrupted results. Years ago when Langford won his first
mayoral election against Jim Whelan (probably one of only three honest
mayors in Atlantic City's history) he won solely on the absentee ballot
count. He achieved the winning result by garnering the help of thug,
drug dealer, gang leader and possible murderer.. who was the leader of a
local home grown Atlantic City gang called the Abdullahs.
Police dogs are the tools of oppression that serve no legitimate purpose
other than to induce fear and as an excuse to bypass judges for
warrantless searches violating our 4th amendment. Any dog can be
trained to bark on command and that's just the excuse that's needed in
order to violate your rights. If people want to be police, then follow
our laws, and do the work yourselves. Is Police work too dangerous?
Regarding your comment on bypassing judges, that is not true. You
do not need a search warrant to use a dog in areas available to the
public. This would include the exterior of a vehicle.
A few weeks back, at the scene of a "thug party" taking place at a local
bar, 30 LEO's from various towns showed up to quell a disturbance (go
It was the arrival of two K-9 units that sent over 100 fine citizens
scattering. One of the "gentlemen" in custody said: "None of us is
afraid of no cops, but we don't do dogs!"
This group was clearly looking for a fight. The dogs and their partners
took the fight right out of them.
The Mayor should be required to attend K-9 School and see that these
fine patrol dogs are not the problem. Control of the events at a K-9
scene is strictly up to the person. If he wants a fight he shall
have it. If he wants to go quietly that works also. All
[this mayor] is doing is taking the teeth out of Law Enforcement.
Maybe Obama can change it all for us.
PS call Jack or Dennis for an evaluation !!!!!
This an on going battle between the mayor and the police department.
Both the mayor and police chief were born and raised in Atlantic City.
This is more about a power struggle and race relations within the city
then anything else. The mayor wants to create a Director over both the
police chief and fire chief. The police chief has appealed to the
Attorney General and has threatened legal action against the mayor.
Since the Director's job was put on hold the mayor struck back with
removing the K-9 unit stating multiple complaints from the community. It
is well known that the complaints have come from high crime, high drug
sales areas of the city.
In the meantime the mayor puts every officer at risk, puts his own
residents at risk and loses vital services that the k-9 unit provided.
Additionally no mutual aide can be provided to the downbeach communities
of Ventnor, Margate, Longport and Brigantine Beach. This has become the
proverbial "I'll show you" political BS and small town, small
minded politics that is alive and well in Atlantic City.
ANOTHER example of how politics is crushing the effectiveness,
efficiency, and moral of our Law Enforcement professionals. These
professionals, although not perfect, generally just want to do good by
protecting and serving. However, once politics is involved, these
professionals themselves are handcuffed by political decisions such as
this one. But wait and see if a politician ever needs to call 911 for an
emergency, see what occurs then!
As always, the upper echelon is bowing to the public, when they should
be backing their officers. Same in my department.
If they mayor is going to send patrol officers out without the dogs that
protect the public, then he should spend time on the streets with those
same officers. Let the mayor spend a few nights in the hot zone in
Atlantic City, and see how he likes it.
An appropriate request for an opinion by the Attorney Generals office
would be in order. It seems to me that this is not the first time that
municipal officials in New Jersey have stepped outside of their bounds
and that there is a clear chain of command from the officer, starting
day one, up to the Attorney General regarding the action of law
enforcement in the State of New Jersey.
Ah Mayor Langford should be thankful the officer choose to sacrifice his
own body to bring this suspect under control. If a drunken martial
artist Disarms a Law Enforcement officer and his his baton the police
have the right to use DEADLY FORCE. There are no is no doubt about it.
I am also a K-9 officer in New Jersey. It's too bad the Mayor didn't
have a death of a suspect on his hands from limiting the officers