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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Editorials    >    Massive Blow to New Jersey Law Enforcement
 

NJLawman.com

EDITORIAL

Police and
Law Enforcement News


Massive Blow to New
Jersey Law Enforcement

NJLawman.com Editorial: NJ Supreme
Court Halts Post-Arrest Vehicle Searches

Police and Law Enforcement News
Friday, January 27, 2006 3:05 p.m.

Listen carefully. Can you hear it. Try harder. How about now?

It's the sound of drug dealers and other elements of the criminally inclined cheering all across our beautiful state. They're cheering because the New Jersey Supreme Court gave them a huge victory via our state's search and seizure law in the case New Jersey v. William B. Eckel.

In January, the court issued a landmark decision reversing well-established case law in the area of motor vehicle searches.

The citizens of this state need to decide exactly what they want from us.

Is it complete freedom from any law enforcement intrusion?

If it is, fine. We'll enforce traffic laws, respond to calls and sip lattés in between. Frankly, it's easier and a lot safer.

Simply, car searches, incident-to-arrest of one of the occupants, are finished. No automatic search of the passenger compartment, and no searching the "wingspan" of someone arrested from the vehicle.

Of course, searches may still be conducted based upon probable cause and consent, where applicable, but the days of the automatic, post-arrest vehicle search are over.

If there is no justification for a search independent of the arrest there will be no search at all.

We could not be any more opposed to this ruling. It is yet another chapter in the continuing erosion of law enforcement tools for New Jersey officers. In fact, this ruling is arguably the worst blow we have taken in recent history.

 

Presumably, the court sought to protect the average citizen from the intrusion and embarrassment of having his or her car searched after being arrested on a contempt warrant or some other minor offense.

Our position is that they used a sledge hammer to kill a fly.  Isn't the real intrusion and embarrassment caused by the arrest itself?

The intentions of the court are not lost on this writer or any other officer, but the court seems to have focused solely on the altruistic benefits of this ruling and not the ramifications. I'm not sure they realize that they have just taken one of the most powerful tools in combating crime, especially narcotics and weapons offenses, from law enforcement. How many guns will now go undiscovered?

Courts, in their decisions, often discuss the balance they must strike between the law enforcement mission and the rights of the citizen. Here, they evidently decided that the minor imposition of a car search outweighed the furtherance of public safety and law enforcement.

The victors of this new law will not be the average, law-abiding citizen.

No, the victors will be those who use vehicles to transport handguns, assault weapons, drugs, and evidence of their criminal activity. They will now have a protected mobile sanctuary for their wares in the form of their vehicle.

The real losers won't be law enforcement either.

The real losers will be those trying to live their lives and raise families in crime ridden areas infested with violence. The guns and drugs that will now go undiscovered as a result of this ruling will mostly wind up in their neighborhoods.

New Jersey already has numerous cities plagued with violent crime, and we are only just beginning to see the destruction of which gangs are capable.

The concept of New Jersey being a "law and order," "tough on crime" state left the station a long time ago. We know this.

The question is where New Jersey will stand on crime and law enforcement.

While a periodic chipping away at police powers may seem good to some, it comes with consequences. The citizens of this state need to decide exactly what they want from us. Is it complete freedom from any law enforcement intrusion? If it is, fine. We'll enforce traffic laws, respond to calls and sip latees in between. Frankly, it's easier and a lot safer.

No one wants to live in a police state including those entrusted with policing, but we have gone much too far in the other direction.

As law enforcement officers, we are - as we should be - subject to the pleasure of our citizenry and those they elect. But, we too are citizens who happen to have a front row seat, and the view from the front row has become quite discouraging.

By deteriorating what the police may do, policing as a whole is deteriorated.

Proponents of the new ruling will argue, "Police can just get a search warrant."

Yes, that sounds nice, but this is not television.

Obtaining a search warrant often takes the better part of an entire shift.

Most of the time, patrol officers won't even bother to start the warrant process simply because they don't have the time to jump through all the legal hoops when there are other calls to be answered.

It was partially for this reason that the United States Supreme Court did and still does allow warrantless searches of vehicles incident to arrest.

Where time and circumstances do allow, the warrant process can be especially challenging (and almost entertaining) in light of the fact that there are numerous jurisdictions within New Jersey where police officers are instructed that superior court judges are not to be bothered during overnight hours.

One somewhat disturbing portion of the court's decision reads as follows:

Obviously, where a defendant has been arrested but has not been removed and secured, the court will be required to determine, on a case-by-case basis whether he or she was in a position to compromise police safety or to carry out the destruction of evidence, thus justifying resort to the search incident to arrest exception.

So, in order to conduct a permissible search we must sacrifice officer safety and perform the search in the presence of unsecured suspects whom we have just informed that they are under arrest?

This is nothing less than a recipe for disaster. Hopefully, road supervisors won’t stand for officers sacrificing safety in order to find a package.

Plus, it’s highly doubtful that the court will allow officers to get around the warrant requirement by purposely delaying the actual securing of the prisoner.

Probably, the most discouraging part of this ruling is the fact that our justices voted seven to zero in favor of this new case law.

Ladies and gentlemen of the court, you have just given the predators, opportunists, gang members, and thugs of our society the ultimate tactic in defeating law enforcement.

So, to our state we say this: Keep throwing obstacles in front of those you swear to protect you.

You will get what you deserve and you will deserve what you get.

NJLawman.com

View the actual case in PDF format
Talk About this Story

 

Reader Comments

March 8, 2006

I am currently a gang detective in the city of Fresno, CA. I was born and raised in Paterson, NJ. I have many friends who are currently officers in NJ. It is sad to see that the supreme court has made a hard job even harder for my fellow brother in blue by sacrificing public/officer safety for the wrong reasons. What's it gonna take for the courts to realize that they have made a huge mistake? An officer killed doing the job he/she loves!!!!! This is a outrage. Hopefully the AG will not stand for this and appeal to a higher court. Be safe...everybody goes home at the end of the tour.

-Anonymous

 

March 8, 2006

Finally, New Jersey gets one right.

-Anonymous

 

March 8, 2006

This case Law will enable the drug dealer to get rich and purchase a home directly next to the people who put the law on the books. At that time and no time sooner will this case law be changed.  Nothing is unexpected in this fine state of NJ.

-North Jersey Cop......

 

March 8, 2006

As a police officer in Monmouth County, New Jersey for 9 years, what I know most cops are starting to do now in order not to go stir crazy because of all of these new rulings made to protect bad guys and harm the good guys is quite simple. We now drive around and put mileage on our cars to keep our bosses happy. We will still stop cars and write our speeding and parking tickets. Other than that, we will simply show up when we are called to do so. It's obvious that proactive police work is not wanted, and based on these new rulings, I guess they are not needed as well in New Jersey. On a really scary side note, if anything were to happen to my job as a police officer in New Jersey, I don't think I would not hesitate becoming a bad guy, and using the strict laws to my advantage.

-Anonymous

 

March 8, 2006

Please let the police do there jobs! It now has  become so difficult that many I am sure have lost their drive to enforce the law because they have no legal backing for their actions. Let's protect them and drive to stop crime.

-Anonymous

 

March 8, 2006

A simple solution to the 5 minute "embarrassment" of having your car searched....Don't get arrested. The NJ Supreme Court is obviously more concerned with protecting the rights of the criminals getting arrested, then those of the families who have to live in the neighborhoods run by the criminals.

-Anonymous

 

March 8, 2006

First, I have to believe that the case will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, where it will be overturned.

Second, It is obvious that the N.J. Supreme Court Justices are just to close to the books, and cannot see real life. They need to step back and see what they just did. Now, guns, drugs, explosives can be brought into the state for REDISTRUBUTION, and the establishment of a lucrative black market. The street cop will survive, but the public will suffer. Just look at Newark, Jersey City, etc. It might just be time for the public to change their politicians.

-NYPD (ret.)

 

March 8, 2006

what is wrong with our judicial system today????? The criminals receive all the rights, and the victims get the abuse and punishment. Let law enforcement do what they were trained to do best!!! That is protect their community, and take the crap and evertything that goes with it "OFF THE STREETS"
This is a HUGE MISTAKE, and innocent people will pay for this misfortune in the end.

-Anonymous

 

March 8, 2006

This new ruling on the no search is for the birds. How long is it going to take for another Police Officer in this state to be killed, by a drug dealer or thug that knows the police can not search. They will start hiding more weapons in the car and not on their persons. This ruling is a JOKE and the courts need to STOP restricting the Police in this state and country.

REMEMBER ALL GIVE SOME SOME GAVE ALL 11, SEPTEMBER 2001
PAPD: 37 OFFICERS LOST
NYPD: 33 OFFICERS LOST
FDNY: 343 MEMBERS LOST
NYEMS: 9 MEMBERS LOST
CIVILIANS 2,500 + LOST

The only line of DEFENSE is the THIN BLUE LINE

-Respectfully
Police670@aol.com

 

March 8, 2006

Hello, I'm a NYC Officer working in the projects in East New York, Brownsville Brooklyn. When we arrest someone driving a motor vehicle, we are supposed to voucher (take Possession) the vehicle, and everything inside the auto gets vouchered separately. In order to voucher property inside of a automobile, you have to search the auto, and take inventory of EVERYTHING other than the spare tire inside of the auto. Does this violate your statue? And If not can you do something like this?

-Anonymous

 

March 8, 2006

I'm waiting to see how long after this we lose "plain view". Looks like 1 summons a shift and lots of coffee is the answer. It's unfortunate, but reality. Just remember, family comes first and safety is paramount. Too all LEO's, stay safe!

-Anonymous

 

February 6, 2006

How about towing the vehicle after an arrest and doing an inventory search?  Would that still be a viable option in New Jersey?  You guys sure got hammered with this ruling, though!  Stay safe.

-Anonymous

 

February 6, 2006

Calling Judges all hours of the night for search warrants could possible be our only chance. We need our unions who we all pay to represent us, to step up and unite us. It is our only chance. One dead cop from this is one to many.

-Pissed in New Jersey

 

February 6, 2006

Great job Supreme Court, its hard enough to catch these guys, why not just give them get out of jail free cards?  The real victim is the person that gun kills because we could not search and seize it. 

-Anonymous

 

February 6, 2006

Can't pursue vehicles, can't search incident arrest. What's next? Maybe, can't stop a motor vehicle without a signed warrant to do so. Thank you Justices. This is a great state, that is, if your a scumbag criminal. The Justices of this state should just make it illegal for any municipality, county, or department in this state to employ persons in the capacity of law enforcement. Really, think about it, we can't do  anything to the scumbag criminals anyway, so why have Police in this state? This is fantastic, I mean do the Justices really think that the average law abiding person who just forgot to pay for a traffic offense is the one reaping the benefit of this ruling? The true answer is NO. The ones who will benefit are the scumbags of this state that if stopped and arrested, now know that there stash of Heroin, Cocaine, or whatever will be safely secured in their vehicle, in the Police Impoundment, waiting for them when they post bail. This is a brilliant legal decision, it will  10 fold increase the amount of drugs our children can receive from JOE SH1TBAG, you know him, the guy that doesn't pay taxes, that is, until this state legalizes drug sales. Now that is what's REALLY NEXT.

-Anonymous

 

February 6, 2006

This is crazy. I am a police officer in Pennsylvania and search incident-to-arrest still stands in my state. New Jersey better wake up, you are the crossroads for the drug traffic trade. I don't blame any of NJ finest if they step back with this new law, their safety is not being considered by the courts.

-Anonymous

 

February 6, 2006

The only ones that have a problem with a quick search are the criminals. It's sad that the "fourth amendment" advocates hide behind a case that drugs were actually found in. What's next no more baggage searching in the airport?

-Anonymous

 

February 6, 2006

This is an abomination. So what are we going to do about it?

I say give them what the Supreme Court wants. Get the search warrants for the vehicles. Wake up the Superior Court Judges. Let the calls for service stack up. Let the administrators explain why it took 5 hours for burglary report to get taken. If you are told to do otherwise by a judge, document it!

I work in one of the bigger departments in the state. Believe me, taking a two man car out of service for 6 hours crushes the response time to other calls.

Ultimately, the citizens of the state will voice their opposition. The Supreme Court won't listen to us. Maybe they'll listen to them.

The thing is, this takes a coordinated effort throughout the state which is something we collectively are not too good at. But it will work. So it's worth the effort.

-Anonymous

 

February 6, 2006

In response to the anonymous sender who referenced that police have the "guilty before proven innocent mantra:"

This new court decision has less to do with the Fourth Amendment than it does eradicating established national and state law enforcement procedure.

For the past decades, you have never had the Fourth Amendment protection of a search of your vehicle after a lawful arrest. Therefore, it is ridiculous that you even say that you would have to "give up" your Fourth Amendment rights. You never had them to begin with.

The search of a vehicle following an arrest has been a longstanding practice meant to protect law enforcement and private citizens by removing any potential weapons from the vehicle. The Supreme Court has completely ignored that fact that today's society is a mobile society; arrests arising from motor vehicle stops for wanted individuals is commonplace. No criminal commits a crime and the waits for public transportation.

The Supreme Court has completely disregarded this issue and now allows weapons and contraband to remain in the vehicles used in the commission of crimes, even if that crime just be possessing an illegal weapon. Vehicles are not just a means of conveyance for criminals; they are mobile stations for criminal activity.

By ignoring this fact, the NJ Supreme Court has forgotten the importance of motor vehicle stops as a deterrent to crime and an effective procedure for criminal investigation and apprehension. Both State v. Eckel and State v. Dunlop have completely destroyed one of the most effective procedures of law enforcement for ridding the State of unlawful weapons and contraband.

If the NJ Supreme Court believed that this practice was wrong, it only took them 110 years to correct it.

-Anonymous

 

February 6, 2006

Obviously the laws are made to protect the criminals in our society and not the law abiding citizens of this state. Besides the high taxes, crooked politicians, a weak AG, it's just another valid & good reason why not to work or live in NJ. I can't see how any police officer could do 25 years in NJ, I can't wait to retire now!

-Disgusted & demoralized Newark, NJ Police Officer

 

February 6, 2006

Hey NJ Taxpayer,

How do feel about the NJ Supreme court giving already over burdened police officers another reason to look the other way?

Listen, they are going to get paid either way. If the courts want to continue tying the hands of NJ cops it is going to result in nothing but unsafe streets for everyone. Why should they unnecessarily risk departmental charges, criminal charges (NJ Profiling Law), or civil suits when it is easier to just look the other way?

Nobody gets into this line of work wanting to do nothing, but the NJ courts are forcing it on us. They are making it so the average cop will do nothing but "Miles and Smiles" because anything else is unreasonably risky. Very few are going to say "I'm going to leave this line of work now", because they have too much time invested. The more likely response is that they will ride out their career doing as little as possible, tell the new guys coming in to "not get involved" and the whole time the taxpayer is paying for it.

Can't blame the street cop! Very sad ruling.

-Anonymous

 

February 2, 2006

I guess the drug dealers can now sit in their vehicles in front of the projects and deal drugs. It's ok, just keep your dope and guns under your seats and you'll be fine.

-Absolutely, 100% disgusted NJ Police Officer!!!

 

February 2, 2006

What really Kills me is every Law enforcement organization in NJ endorses Democrat after democrat for office. Well this is the result of Democrat appointments. Does anyone think it will get any better with SC Justices and Attorney Generals being appointed regardless of their pass history of warrants and license suspensions? Wake up!  Democrats are not friends of the Law enforcement community.

-Anonymous

 

February 2, 2006

Thank god someone cares about the rights of citizens. Apparently "guilty till proven" innocent is the mantra of most of the cops on this site. Look I do appreciate the job you do and I am thankful for it but that doesn't mean I think because most cops are good that we should just give up on the fourth amendment. If you really think things are that bad then maybe you should find a new job.

-Anonymous

 

February 2, 2006

This is just another blow to law enforcement. Good luck trying to get cops to do their job now. They have given the criminal element the green light to carry any and all illegal items inside their cars, and promoted unsafe conditions for all law enforcement. GOOD JOB!

-Anonymous

 

February 2, 2006

I attended training in which a Texas LEO was teaching NJ LEO's how to "get into the trunk" for Drug Interdiction. We started to laugh. Now we cant even get into the passenger compartment. Does anyone really wonder why the 9-11 terrorists worked out of the Wonderful State of New Jersey......As if getting a search warrant is even a feasible option.....in Burlington County there is a standing order NOT to wake Superior court judges between 11p and 6am.....are all Judges alike or what.

-Anonymous

 

February 2, 2006

Who will take the blame for rise in crime rates five years from now? of course, the police. blame them for everything....

-Disgruntled cop

 

February 2, 2006

The Supreme Court reasoned that after a person has been arrested, removed from a vehicle and secured by the police, the underlying reasons for a search incident to an arrest (recovery of implements of escape, evidence and weapons) no longer exists. Although this may be true, it does not prevent an individual from accessing the loaded .22 he had under the driver's seat after he posts for his $100.00 traffic warrant. Our hands were tied before and this just tightens the knot.

-Anonymous

 

February 2, 2006

Typical...so we'll just leave and CDS and potential weapons in the car to be sold at a later date for the defendant's attorney fees and weapons to hurt other innocent parties including the next police officer who stops that individual.....Protect the Criminal Again....Brilliant

-18yrs. can't wait to retire.......

 

February 2, 2006

I have been on the job for 5 years and this is the most ridiculous court decision I have ever heard of. This is giving the criminals more rights. There will be more guns and drugs on the streets and put me in harms way every time I lock someone up.

-Anonymous

 

February 2, 2006

As a PO in N.J. for over 10 years, the wind has just been removed from my sails.  This is a true disgrace. Now, maybe the homicide rates in N.J. will become the highest in the country allowing all criminals to hold on to their guns, even when they pinched for a simple traffic warrant.

-Disgusted North Jersey Cop.

 

February 2, 2006

As a police officer in NJ, should I now take a chance on pulling someone over at 3:00am in the morning and the nearest car across town?  I rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6!!!!

-Anonymous

 

January 30, 2006

I am an officer in Phoenix, AZ and I am absolutely disgusted by that. Sounds like the court wants to put you guys in handcuffs. Good luck and stay safe!

-Anonymous

 

January 30, 2006

Although off the topic...here is another "Judge" give the criminal the benefits and taking power from the LEO... the Parole Board is now giving Grievance Forms out to convicts so that they can complain to upper management about their PO or their PO's Sgt. And you know at the very least the PO or the supervisor will be questioned by some knucklehead that never walked into the projects or a biker den about why they did what they did. Nice...What's next????

-Anonymous

 

January 30, 2006

Wow, this is excellent news. Its about time the courts started to recognize the rights of the individual.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

-Anonymous

 

January 30, 2006

In crime-ridden cities like Camden and Irvington, this ruling makes cleaning up the community next to impossible. The Court really betrayed the average citizen with this one.

-Anonymous

 

January 30, 2006

Any thoughts of sending this article to USA today, Wall Street Journal, Star Ledger, Asbury Park Press as an "letter to the editor" for exposure? Or ask the Police Unions in NJ to band together against this decision publicly?

As a command officer with 16 years of LEO exp., I am now most concerned about the death of a fellow officer based on this narrow sighted decision. Attending the police funeral should be the NJ Supreme Court Judges that handed down this decision. They are bringing a very sad "new dawn" for the professional LEO in our state.

May GOD bless all that work the streets. That they may go home to their families and friends after a days work protecting the communities they serve. Someone should ask the justices what they fear when they go to work.

Respectfully submitted,
Dedicated "Blue" in NJ

 

January 30, 2006

Absolutely disgraceful. I still have problems when the US Supreme Court issues a ruling, but the NJ Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, decides that their ruling is better for NJ citizens than the rest of the country. We as citizens should be outraged with this ruling. We as law enforcement officers ARE outraged. NJ Supreme Court justices, please wake up and start living in the real world, okay?

-Anonymous

 

January 30, 2006

Since NJ has changed the 'trend' in the nation, then the US Supreme Court should review this decision and make a uniform decision for the entire country as to whether NJ has overstepped its interpretation of what is permissible.

-Anonymous

 

January 30, 2006

New Jersey and all its liberal policy is like cancer to any form of good police work! The State of New Jersey has huge problems, and many more problems will come as this State becomes more liberal!
NJ Police Officer

-Anonymous

 

January 30, 2006

Another example of the de-policing of NJ! How many officers have to get hurt before the liberals change their way of thinking in this state! Keep taking our tools away so crime can keep going up, it is only a matter of time, then they will all be crying! The job is hard enough, give us a break already!

Chief Vincent Caruso - Lodi PD

 

January 30, 2006

I don't wish anything bad on anybody, but someday somehow I hope this comes back to bite one of the "7" in the ass!

- 1 Unhappy NJ Cop!

 

This is an outrage!! I am an aspiring police officer in New Jersey and I see the stress this decision causes on all of my police officer friends and family... its hard enough on them in bad areas such as Camden and Newark, now this!!! this stupid state could care less about the cops as long as they live in rich areas where they know they can go home safely... might as well give the drug dealers and criminals your badges and let them run themselves.

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

Thank god I am retired from law enforcement and moved out of the state of N.J. Just another reason to move out.

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

This brings a good argument to have Judges voted in, not sitting for life. If you arrest the driver, the passenger still can go to a hidden gun. Our court hates cops, likes bad guys. We as a police community should bane together, and badger our elected officials to have the courts to change this dumb decision.

-Anonymous

NJLawman.com Response:  Very interesting point about the passenger. 

 

January 29, 2006

Just when I think it can't get any worse being a police officer in NJ, it does. Instead of looking for bad guys, I might as well now focus my sites on retirement. It is the only thing that keeps my sanity. This state is hopeless....

Ptl. Beyond Frustrated

 

January 29, 2006

Let Mr. Eckel and those Justices drive through Georgia and we will show them how to toss the car, arrest them while they are whining like babies and drag them to jail the good old fashioned way of treating the scum of this country! Maybe forget the jail key also.

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

As if the job wasn't hard enough as it is. Now we have to walk on eggshells every time we make an arrest, and worry about the evidence being suppressed.  Why even bother?

How many cops are going to have to get hurt for this ruling to be reversed?????

Unbelievable.

-Disgusted in NJ

 

January 29, 2006

How are we going to protect ourselves and enforce the laws if the politicians and judges out there are favoring criminals? NJ has to be one of the worst places to be a police officer anymore. We cant do anything without charges against criminals are dropped and being prosecuted for just doing our jobs and following the laws. This is ridiculous and outrageous.

Very ticked off NJ Officer

 

January 29, 2006

Maybe we just start calling judges all hours of the night to get a search warrant. We put enough pressure on them maybe they'll make a stink and get something done.

-JPK

 

January 29, 2006

Just another reason to work even harder! I eagerly accept the new challenge. It will put an even bigger smile on my face when I continue to make even more arrests due to the new issue of this guideline! Eat that law makers!

-Bring it on!

ork even harder! I eagerly accept the new challenge. It will put an even bigger smile on my face when I continue to make even more arrests due to the new issue of this guideline! Eat that law makers!

-Bring it on!

 

January 29, 2006

To the great law makers of this criminal favored state: Thanks for nothing. We were just set back about half a century in crime fighting and protecting the public. Luckily, I am retiring in several months so I won't be dealing with this state of confusion. Its a shame that you people sit back and arm chair quarterback this type of law while we officers risk our lives protecting yours. Thanks for the stab or shot in the back you just gave us.

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

A perfect reason as to why Liberals should not hold office in New Jersey. The judges really don't care about law enforcement officers, they just care about staying on the bench. Sure, let's keep the criminals one step ahead of law enforcement. Why not they deserve justice. Thank you to all the judges for smacking all the police officers in this state with a pile of sh*t.

-Paterson's Finest...until now

 

January 29, 2006

This ruling sounds almost whimsical and certainly without much deliberation. As such, it can be reversed by equally whimsical decision making.

Think about this. At a DWI trial, the lawyer asserts that his client guzzled the booze AFTER the crash and stashed the bottle under his seat. The judge finds him NO GUILTY (surprise surprise). The drunk then goes on a bender and crashes into a NJ Supreme or a family member.

Or..

How about seeking a warrant on EVERY SINGLE arrest from a car, whether it's a DWI, drug, or whatever arrest. Clog the courtroom. Wake the judge and the AP every single night. Line up at the judge's chambers so they can't possibly take a lunch break. THEY want warrants so here they are! (And remember, if you WERE going to search but can't now, aren't you being "lazy" for not going for the warrant?)

I'll bet that before long, the roadside searches will suddenly become constitutional again.

NJLawman.com Response:  Another interesting point about the DWI defense. 

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

These judges who make these decisions should go for a ride-along in a city such as Camden or Trenton during a weekend night shift and see what we have to go through day in and day out, just to actually do the job we've sworn to do AND come home to our families at night.

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

I am an aspiring police officer in New Jersey with a family full of police and with most of my friends cops as well... I see the stresses they go thru everyday albeit some are in in country clubs but some are in the worst areas of NJ. This stupid state doesn't care if officers go home safely to their children at night just as long as the judges get to go home to their ritzy houses and forget about the dangers on the street because its far away from their mansions....I am disgusted with lawyers and the judges... you might as well turn over you badges and uniforms to the criminals... its heart wrenching to say this will probably not be overturned until an alarming amount of police are killed because of this law... maybe their unnecessary deaths will make the judges see it but I doubt it and even so how many will it take?? its ridiculous... I feel for those of you whom are officers....

Aspiring cop in NJ.. maybe not anymore

 

January 29, 2006

I have been a cop in NJ for 18 years, this is no surprise as the NJ Courts and Judges, especially the NJ Supreme court are a disgrace. This is the state that allows Cop killers to walk free, Union Co, and refuses to punish other Cop killers like Leslie Nelson, thank God I only have a couple to go.

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

I moved from NJ to the Atlanta area seven years ago to take a job policing. I've always considered moving back, until now!!! This is a disgrace and a huge blow to NJ law enforcement! Hopefully this will not be the trend nationwide.

-Narcotics Inv.-Metro Atlanta, GA

 

January 29, 2006

I am really happy that I am a retired police officer in NJ.

All of you still on the job out there have my deepest sympathy. Just pray for the day that you stop some judges kid in his Beemer and you have to impound it because daddy forgot to renew his tags.

Stay safe out there everybody and try to keep your sanity.

-Ret. In NJ. Wish I could afford to get out.

 

January 29, 2006

This is garbage lets really watch crime rise in Essex County.

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

Could you post phone numbers or email addresses for the supreme court. Do you think if we all band together and start a campaign they would revisit this?

Guess I'll find a good hiding spot and a good book when I work.

-Disgusted in Middlesex Co.

 

January 29, 2006

This is sad. To take away a tool that compromises safety and ongoing crime prevention in this state, in today's times is a smack in the face. NJ has Camden...the highest violent crime stats two years in a row, Newark, Trenton, and various other cities where the criminal element seems to be more and more prevalent despite law enforcement efforts. Clearly the judges in this case did not look at the big picture.

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

NJ Cops can't get a break, first a Gov. who appoints idiots, his AG who gives us Racial Profiling, which is not done in NJ. But please don't stop minorities even if you have probable cause because its racial profiling, Our new AG prospect has little trial experience and has warrants and 3-40 problems. Easy answer give her trooper to drive for her. Now we have the Great NJ Supreme court who has been handcuffing us since for ever. They have upheld the 1955 Breathalyzer but will not rule yet on the new one which prevents the chance of dial a drunk or operator error. Go figure. Lets always remember they are ALL Lawyers and lets recall what Shakespeare said !

Answer the calls, write a few summons

-A short timer glad at this part of career than just starting

 

January 29, 2006

I'm speechless. I wouldn't be surprised if ATS warrants are completely thrown out of the window after this, stating that they aren't serious enough charges to be arrested for.

-Keep it up NJ

 

January 29, 2006

This is sickening!!! Nothing will be done until some poor cops wife and kids are in front of a news camera crying about her dead husband because of an unfound weapon. Well said.

-B.J.T.

 

January 29, 2006

As a 19 year veteran and a road cop for my whole career, I find the Eckel and Dunlop cases to be the most damaging blows to law enforcement in many years. The liberal State Supreme Court has gone over the top to safe guard the rights of CRIMINALS and put the ever increasing burden on the backs of law enforcement to safeguard law abiding citizens from drug dealers, gun carriers, and other detriments to society

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

Unbelievable and demoralizing to New Jersey's finest. I cannot believe that the criminals safety is held above officer's safety. The lawsuits, the IA invests, and the multitude of late night calls to judges for warrants may result in a "pop". 7-0 Vote? Thanks a lot! Come on out and ride along for a few nights NJ Supreme Court justices. Its just one more step in becoming Republican Social Workers!!

-Anonymous

 

January 29, 2006

Brothers and Sisters,,,,The Court Case You refer to enumerates the restrictions that We in Pennsylvania have been working under for years, ours is even more restrictive in that you need reasonable suspicion to use a Narcotics Detection Dog OUTSIDE a vehicle.
It Might be a good IDEA to research some Pennsylvania Cases and attempt to use the format that is successful in our arrests and prosecutions, to plagiarize a phrase from Clint Eastwood, " Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome" and it really will make the case STRONGER and HARDER TO BEAT ON APPEAL. I'm a dinasour, I worked in the GOOD OLD DAYS FROM THE 70's and retired 2 1/2 years ago..
Thank You For Letting me speak about this,,,
BE SAFE AND GOD BLESS

FRATERNALLY,
RETIRED PA STATE NARCOTICS, AGENT FRANK DiMICELI,#183
PA OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, BUREAU OF NARCOTICS INVESTIGATIONS SPECIAL OPERATIONS GROUP MEMBER AND INTERDICTION UNIT MEMBER
email dmmb1@ptd.net  or fdimiceli@fop.net

 

January 28, 2006

This from the same Supreme Court that gave us the Dangerfield case, although later revised. I guess it's time to get a coffee, 8 hours of reading material and a hiding spot, or start following the "drive, wave and smile" type of patrol, it seems that's what they want us to do anymore. At least we'll have a strong, new "law and order" AG to lead us now.

-Disgusted in Ocean County

 

January 28, 2006

A stink ought to be made of this so the public knows what is at stake!

-Anonymous Atlantic County Officer

 

January 28, 2006

I put some of the blame on the AG's office for not arguing the other exceptions (consents, plain view and automobile exception to warrant) but what do you expect when Harvey is in charge.

-Anonymous

 

January 28, 2006

Unreal!!

Welcome to N.J., home of out of control political corruption, sky rocketing property taxes, a raped and pillaged pension system, and now this!!!!

What's next...water pistols and station house adjustments for drug dealers and gang members!

I hope your all good at doing police work with one arm handcuffed behind our back!!

-B.J.T.

 

January 28, 2006

With the way New Jersey Courts assists the criminals by making these ridiculous laws and court rulings… What’s next? Soon, police officer’s won’t even have the authority to search a person’s own pockets after they are lawfully placed under arrest.

-C.D.

 

January 28, 2006

Makes me thank god I am a cop in PA, hopefully they will never follow suit.

-Anonymous

 

January 28, 2006

I am the wife of a law enforcement officer and this scares me.

-Anonymous

 

January 28, 2006

Can this be appealed or are the law enforcement officers stuck with this for good?

-Anonymous

NJLawman.com Response:  This ruling is permanent as it comes from the New Jersey Supreme Court.  The only way it could be stricken is if the court were to do it themselves as they did in State vs. Dangerfield.

 

January 28, 2006

Unfortunately, this ruling was a result of an arrest in Upper Township, not a hot bed for criminal activity. The real losers of this case will be the Officers' working in crime ridden neighborhoods; whose daily life’s are at risk. The people who interpret the laws live in their glass houses, not having to deal with the daily gun fire and local drug dealers trying to corrupt their kids. Once again, New Jersey’s State Constitution works in favor for the criminals, not the law abiding citizens. I can already see the defense lawyers schooling there criminal clients on the new law. For that, New Jersey, Thank you. I am glad someone is looking out for the criminals safety, not mine.

-A disgusted cop in NJ

 

January 28, 2006

A complete disgrace....why don't we just hand our weapons over to those we arrest.

-Anonymous

 

January 28, 2006

I see it now!

I was arrested and had $50k in my car when the police towed it away. My money is now gone. LAWSUIT!!! IA Investigation!!!

What a joke, because the officer was prohibited from conducting a vehicle search. (albeit - incident to arrest or inventory)

-Anonymous

 

January 28, 2006

I want to know if there are any Judges out there who carry a police radio and responds to arrest scenes to approve a warrant. I'm guessing 0.

-Anonymous

 

January 28, 2006

To all the braniac law makers, thanks, I bet you don't live in New Jersey...

-Anonymous

 

January 28, 2006

Is it me, or is New Jersey the worst state to be in Law Enforcement? Maybe it would be nice to move to Florida or California.

-Very demoralized NJ Police Officer

 

January 28, 2006

Couldn't disagree more

-Anonymous

 

January 28, 2006

I just don't get it.  This court seems to dislike law enforcement.  7 to 0?

I'm glad that I'm moving south in 3 years, 3 months, and 2 days but whose counting?

-Anonymous