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January  13

Oh Yeah, We Feel A Lot Safer Now

The headline in today's Star Ledger, "Montclair is Getting Safer"  seems to contradict what we've been hearing here at Baristanet over the last year. There was that rash of home burglaries over the holidays. Then, multiple break-ins on Christopher Street, as recently as this week. Baristanet is also still waiting for a call back from police departments for confirmation of an alleged car theft on Valley Road, and two alleged muggings near Bloomfield High. But if we believe the lies, damn lies and  statistics for 2005, the overall crime rate has fallen 8%.

"Burglaries .......fell from 250 to 214, a 14 percent reduction. Yet it's the second year of decline from 2003's break-in count of 282.  That represents a 24 percent decline in two years."

Well that's a relief....

January 13, 2006 in Paranoia Beat | Permalink


"Police Chief Sabagh & his assistant made a presentation in support of the proposed false alarm ordinance for home & business security systems in Montclair. Their research yielded the almost surreal statistic that of the 9,000 alarm calls that MPD responded to in the years 2004 & 2005, only five (5!) were actual burglaries or emergencies."

Perhaps if we all get signs that state our house is protected by ADT, the bad people will stay away.

Posted by: David | Jan 13, 2006 1:02:13 PM

I love the idea that the police are going to fine and possible imprison (according to the Montclair Times) homeowners whose alarms go off falsely.

Sounds like a plan.

A no-goodnik tries one of my backyard windows, the alarm goes off, he runs away. The police come, and because the door ISN'T smashed in, or I am not lying in a pool of blood, because the alarm hardware has done it's job...and this in the mind's eye of the police is a false alarm?

On the other hand, a neighbor who reports a suspicious person in HIS backyard who runs off before the police get there...that's NOT a false alarm.

This seems like a system designed to punish the people with home security systems.

Someone please explain it to me if I'm not getting it?

Posted by: PixelPusher | Jan 13, 2006 1:19:24 PM

The cops arrive at yout house at 9:30am on a monday morning (as they have many other alternate mondays at 9:30am) to find the cleaning person tap tap tapping the wrong code into your pad.

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 13, 2006 1:22:54 PM

I will congratulate the Montclair police force. A reduction in burgalaries is good news. I hope it continues--
On another note, I'm happy to pay for a false alarm. I realize that it is a burden for the police to respond to a false alarm. And if it is NOT a false alarm (as Pixelpusher points out) then it has saved me a lot more than the $25. fine.
I'll look at it as a donation to a hardworking, dependable group of men and women.

Posted by: njholdem | Jan 13, 2006 2:40:44 PM

I am sick over the mugging outside of BHS. It happened when students were leaving school for their School-To-Careers program jobs. Good kids, doing something productive - and this happens. I'm told Orsini made an oral statement to the kids yesterday (basically, blame the victim? If they didn't have cell phones, no one would want to rob them for their cell phones!) but notice he didn't put anything IN WRITING to the parents? God forbid the parents should ever just once have some facts about BHS. Well, on the other hand, maybe he was afraid to put in writing for fear The Barista (wink wink LOL) would get hold of it and correct his grammar!


Posted by: out of my mind | Jan 13, 2006 3:42:37 PM

The Montclair Times story has been corrected: the current ordinance includes the possible jail time for "repeat offenders," but Chief Sabagh has recommended this be changed because he thinks it's too harsh.


Posted by: Jess G. | Jan 13, 2006 4:14:38 PM

What really is being done about all of these break-ins of cars and homes? Amazing that they can't get these people! Our car was rummaged through 4 years ago and it happened 2 more times on our street since. I don't see much of a patrol car presence around the neighborhood at night. I'ts getting scary and I am getting ready to 'get outta town'!

Posted by: Nan | Jan 13, 2006 4:40:14 PM

According to the Discovery channel's web site for the show "It Takes A Thief" only 13% of burglars get caught. The site also has tips on theft prevention.

The thing that the show really showed me was how fast these creeps work. In under 10 minutes they break in, steal, destroy and leave. It's scary too because they always find extra copies of housekeys and take them.

Posted by: hrhppg | Jan 13, 2006 5:00:12 PM

Nutley has had a major home break-in wave-- 21 since just before the holidays. Ugh!

Posted by: NewSchool | Jan 13, 2006 5:09:16 PM

I applaud njholdem's generous spirit.

Can I assume that if everyone whose alarm summons the police, only to find no damage or victim will have to pay 25 bucks...everyone phoning the police will be subject to the same "donation" as well?

This describes a town where you have to write a check each time you have to call the police.

I agree with Right Of Center, that the realize the situation he describes is an abuse. Clearly there is a point in between that and finding a bloody victim that is fair to the folks who protect themselves and their homes in the absence of the police with alarms where they aren't subject to an unfair fine for protecting themselves.

Are we going to start charging folks who call the Fire Department only to find that they didn't need them as well?

Show me a way that's fair to everyone who uses the services of the police, and I'll get behind it. What's described isn't fair at all (IMHO).

Posted by: Pixelpusher | Jan 14, 2006 8:51:51 AM

You are all missing the point on this. What you don't understand is that in every town there are inevitably certain businesses or residences that set off an auto-alarm virtually EVERY NIGHT... or some close variation on that. The overdramatizing of this topic: "This describes a town where you have to write a check each time you have to call the police." and "Are we going to start charging folks who call the Fire Department only to find that they didn't need them as well?" is the problem.
THis is not even close to what is being proposed. This is one step towards getting these people to resolve problems with faulty alarm systems. ...When a false fire alarm goes off, even when it is at the same storefront for the third time that night, you are putting emergency vehicles on the road in a response mode (the dangerous part of a firefighters job, believe it or not, is getting to the fire) and risking lives for the sake someone who refuses to pay to get a faulty alarm head repaired.
This ordinance is necessary and should be standard in any town.
Please take the time to consider the facts of the situation before resulting to overdramatic and reactionary statements. (In this area usually fueled by innacurrate and incredibly poorly detailed writing in the local papers.)

Posted by: Drob | Jan 14, 2006 12:02:09 PM

Explain, please then what is being proposed?

All I have to go on is what's being reported. When what's reported is that residents whose alarms go off and when the police get arrive, there is no emergency will be fined or possibly imprisoned, what else can a person deduce?

In my mind a homeowners alarm goes off, and when the police arrive there is no damage or mayhem indicates...the alarm did what it was supposed to.

Sincerely. Please explain what is really in mind to put the homeowners with security systems minds at ease.

Thank you in advance.

Posted by: Pixelpusher | Jan 14, 2006 5:46:24 PM

...a good argument to buy a Rottweiler ( or two ) ...

Posted by: RightSaidFred | Jan 14, 2006 10:59:58 PM

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