Monthly Archives: May 2011

HERE THEY COME: TRAFFIC HEAVY TO SHORE POINTS

Locals will have to get used to a lot more traffic this weekend.  The big Memorial Day rush to the shore is underway and southbound traffic on many major highways in New Jersey is heavy, even during the midday hours.  Sensational weather is in the forecast for the entire weekend, and local beaches should be packed.  One of the first accidents reported was on Avalon Boulevard in Middle Township which resulted in one injury.

NEWARK POLICE OFFICER SHOT AND KILLED

Newark Mayor Cory Booker says today is a day of mourning for his community.  A 45 year old off duty veteran police officer was shot and killed when he ordered a slice of pizza.  Police in Newark say William Johnson, a 16 year veteran of the police departemnt, lost his life Thursday night while he ordered some food.  Two others were also shot.  Police believe Johnson was the victim of a random drive by shooting in the city.  Johnson lost his life shortly after 3am Friday.  So far, one suspect has been arrested and police are looking for a second suspect.

ROUTE 52 READIES FOR HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Construction crews have advanced work on both sides of the Route 52 Causeway, reopening two critical portions of local roadways that will provide increased travel capacity between Somers Point and Ocean City for the summer season.

The reopenings will benefit residents, business owners and visitors as work on the $400 million causeway replacement project continues through the summer and into next year. 

In Ocean City, a second lane on 9th Street northbound has reopened between West Avenue and Bay Avenue to provide two travel lanes heading onto the causeway.  Reconstruction of the rightmost 9th Street northbound lane continues.  When that work is completed in June, 9th Street will then provide two travel lanes in each direction with an additional center left-turn lane shared by traffic in both directions.

MAN ARRESTED AFTER STEALING POLICE CAR

The Press of Atlantic City reports that a man allegedly stole a Margate City police cruiser and drove through five communities before being apprehended. 22 -year old Christopher Sparks of Blackwood, reportedly stole the police car while it was stopped investigating a motor vehicle accident shortly after 10pm on Wednesday night in Margate. Sparks was able to elude pursuit until he entered a dead end street in Somers Point. He was arrested after fleeing the police car by the Somers Point Police and Egg Harbor Township Police K-9 unit. Sparks is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault criminal alluding, possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, driving while intoxicated and various motor vehicle charges stemming from failure to stop for police pursuit.

BLUE ANGELS CANCEL DEMONSTRATION

The Blue Angels flight squadron will not appear at the Millville Airshow this weekend. The world famous jets had to suspend their operations temporarily for a safety review. Apparently, the jets were caught flying below a specified altitude at a recent airshow. The pilots are undergoing additional training and practice. The Blue Angels were also forced to cancel a flyover at today’s graduation at the U.S. Naval Academy.

WILDWOOD CREST POLICE RECEIVE ACCREDITATION

Wildwood Crest Police Department has received accreditation. The New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police appeared at the Wildwood Crest Borough Commission meeting to present the award. An on-site accreditation of the department took place in December. The assessors gave the department a favorable assessment and forwarded a report to the commission board recommending the members of the agency appear in Trenton before the board. The board then voted for accreditation status.

STATE POLICE SHOOT AND KILL MAN WHO PULLS GUN

A man was shot and killed by a State Trooper. The State’s Attorney General’s Office announced that the man pulled a gun on police and was killed on Wednesday night. According to police reports, they responded to a called in Fairfield Township and the man was had a gun pulled in the domestic incident. A trooper shot William Gibbons, of Seabrook, when Gibbons pulled a gun. An investigation is still on-going.

STATE POLICE REPORT INCREASE IN TRAFFIC-RELATED DEATHS

New Jersey State Police statistics show that 230 people have died in traffic-related accidents so far this year (Jan. 1 through May 25, 2011), which is up almost 18-percent from the 195 crash fatalities this time last year. After years record setting declines, there is no clear reason for the spike. Since many accidents are single vehicle crashes, distracted driving is suspected in early analysis.  Texting and web-surfing mobile devices are an ever-present temptation for today’s drivers, but one that must be resisted.

State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes hopes these statistics will motivate people to pay attention and change the behaviors that may be contributing to these sad results.  “There’s no room for the use of handheld electronics, or any other distractions while driving.  New Jersey can, and must do better in this area,” Fuentes said.  “With the greater amount of traffic on the highways in summertime, there’s even more reason to make driving the only focus when you’re behind the wheel,” Fuentes added.

The 101 Days of Summer enforcement and education campaign is just beginning in New Jersey. It includes the annual Click-It or Ticket program for seat belt usage, as well as DWI enforcement.

During the 2010 Memorial Day holiday, eight people lost their lives on New Jersey’s roadways. Out of those eight fatalities, six were found to have drug or alcohol impairment as a contributing factor.  Six of seven crash fatalities in 2009 involved drugs or alcohol.

Troopers and police officers will also be providing traffic and boating safety tips throughout the state. Along with increased land-based safety responsibilities, personnel assigned to the State Police Marine Bureau will be patrolling waterways throughout the summer boating season.  Enforcement activities will focus on impaired boat drivers and persons recklessly operating personal watercraft (jet skis) and other powered vessels.  Marine troopers will also be checking to see that boat operators have obtained the proper licenses to operate watercraft.  A good synopsis of boating requirements can be found on the State Police website at www.njsp.org under boating safety.

Law enforcement’s objective is to save lives with the ultimate goal of enjoying a fatality free Memorial Day weekend. The 2011 Memorial Day holiday officially begins at 6:00 p.m. Friday, May 27th and continues until 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 31st.