New Maplewood Police Cars

Who is the numbnut who ok'ed the new color scheme on MW police cars?

I've been watching police cars gradually go from brightly painted, easy to discern cars into stealth monstrosities. MW is not the only town. I think Orange has the exact same scheme.

Gray letters on black. Brilliant. Granted, they're reflective, so if you happen to have a light pointing on them in the right way, you can tell it's a police car. Daytime, not so much.

It's just another indication of how police forces are pulling themselves away from the community. They don't want to be seen. They want to sneak up on us.

It's maddening.

grrrr


my issue with hard to see police cars is that when you are pulled over, you want to be able to see that it is a real police car and not an impersonator.

also, being more visible is more of a deterrent to crime


well, exactly. A police car should be obvious. That's kind of the whole point of having them drive around.

I don't know what these guys are thinking when they make these decisions.


They’re better for traffic enforcement because most people (though not all) who drive like ******** aren’t stupid enough to continue driving like ******** when they see a black and white.  So instead of catching the few asshats who don’t have two brain cell to rub together they can catch more people who speed or improperly pass or run stop signs.

But yes, for times when you want visibility not having a black and white does mean they lose that visual impact.


spontaneous said:

They’re better for traffic enforcement because most people (though not all) who drive like ******** aren’t stupid enough to continue driving like ******** when they see a black and white.  So instead of catching the few asshats who don’t have two brain cell to rub together they can catch more people who speed or improperly pass or run stop signs.

But yes, for times when you want visibility not having a black and white does mean they lose that visual impact.

 isn't a visible deterrent better than "catching" the violators in terms of public safety?


It’s good for the local coffers. Traffic fines add up because the traffic violators won’t notice them. Even the lights are lower. Bottom line is money 


A high visibility police car isn’t going to stop property crimes like thefts (291 in 2018), car thefts (60 in 2018), or burglaries (43 in 2018), which are the main drivers of Maplewood’s crime rate.


ml1 said:

isn't a visible deterrent better than "catching" the violators in terms of public safety?

One theoretical answer, I suppose, is that if you know you can easily spot police cruisers, you rein yourself in only when you see them. And that if you’re never sure when they may pop up on you, you’re more likely to rein yourself in all the time.


DaveSchmidt said:

One theoretical answer, I suppose, is that if you know you can easily spot police cruisers, you rein yourself in only when you see them. And that if you’re never sure when they may pop up on you, you’re more likely to rein yourself in all the time.

 I rein myself in whenever I see a black Ford.


spontaneous said:

A high visibility police car isn’t going to stop property crimes like thefts (291 in 2018), car thefts (60 in 2018), or burglaries (43 in 2018), which are the main drivers of Maplewood’s crime rate.

 Police departments have little to do with stopping crime, regardless of the color of their cars.


drummerboy said:

 Police departments have little to do with stopping crime, regardless of the color of their cars.

 that's my understanding as well. When we look at the analysis of how cops spend their time, almost none of it turns out to be crime prevention. It's vehicular stops, responding after a crime has already been committed, and administrative duties. I'd be willing to believe that doorbell cams are serving as more of a deterrent to  crime than cops in cars. 


ml1 said:

drummerboy said:

 Police departments have little to do with stopping crime, regardless of the color of their cars.

 that's my understanding as well. When we look at the analysis of how cops spend their time, almost none of it turns out to be crime prevention. It's vehicular stops, responding after a crime has already been committed, and administrative duties. I'd be willing to believe that doorbell cams are serving as more of a deterrent to  crime than cops in cars. 

 Then why are people bothered by them no longer driving high visibility vehicles?


spontaneous said:

 Then why are people bothered by them no longer driving high visibility vehicles?

 for me, it's because it seems to be another reflection of police forces embracing more of an us-them mentality than a "to protect and serve" mentality. 


ml1 said:

spontaneous said:

 Then why are people bothered by them no longer driving high visibility vehicles?

 for me, it's because it seems to be another reflection of police forces embracing more of an us-them mentality than a "to protect and serve" mentality. 

 exactly. It also strikes me as being more militaristic.


Seeing the ******** on the road I’d think that being incognito and catching bad drivers would be a good thing.

Tonight we were visiting family in South Orange.  At the four way stop at S Ridgewood and Lenox a car going northbound couldn’t wait 30 seconds for a car going southbound that was turning into their driveway, so they hit their horn, crossed the double yellow to get around them, slammed on the gas to get to the stop sign (all of 300 feet away) and then slammed on their brakes at the last second when they realized there was a four way stop, almost coming to a stop in the middle of the intersection, and then hitting the gas again to continue going northbound on South Ridgewood Rd.

In fact, the people who purchased the house on that corner have had to replace their fence a few times now because of cars ending up on their front lawn. 

Enforcement of traffic laws isn’t just about putting money in the towns coffers.


This is part of the statement Chief DeVaul put on the Maplewood Police Department website.  In my opinion, the new gotcha police cars are counter to what he has written to the public:

"In full transparency, I must acknowledge this Police Department has dealt with complaints of excessive force and misconduct in the past. I recognized that this history would change the relationship between Police and the community for many years to come. As the new Police Chief, I assembled a team of qualified diverse officers to help change the culture in the Police Department. There was no room for excuses or denial. We have learned a great many things along the way and that the officers would not accept change easily. Rebuilding trust and relationships in the community could not be set on a timetable and would have to be earned.

The Department established goals and objectives as part of this change in culture.

  • Be a completely open and transparent Department.
  • Adopt a “Community Oriented Policing” model putting residents first.
  • Create a Community Services Bureau in support of this model of Policing.
  • Treat all persons with dignity and respect."


spontaneous said:

Seeing the ******** on the road I’d think that being incognito and catching bad drivers would be a good thing.

Tonight we were visiting family in South Orange.  At the four way stop at S Ridgewood and Lenox a car going northbound couldn’t wait 30 seconds for a car going southbound that was turning into their driveway, so they hit their horn, crossed the double yellow to get around them, slammed on the gas to get to the stop sign (all of 300 feet away) and then slammed on their brakes at the last second when they realized there was a four way stop, almost coming to a stop in the middle of the intersection, and then hitting the gas again to continue going northbound on South Ridgewood Rd.

In fact, the people who purchased the house on that corner have had to replace their fence a few times now because of cars ending up on their front lawn. 

Enforcement of traffic laws isn’t just about putting money in the towns coffers.

 fwiw, I am not sure the primary role of a police department is supposed to be traffic enforcement. 


ml1 said:

 that's my understanding as well. When we look at the analysis of how cops spend their time, almost none of it turns out to be crime prevention. It's vehicular stops, responding after a crime has already been committed, and administrative duties. I'd be willing to believe that doorbell cams are serving as more of a deterrent to  crime than cops in cars. 

 I'm curious what % of their time is spent sitting in their cars all day, "monitoring" the safety of PSE&G crews digging into streets & other like situations, ("eating donuts" is some people's perception).  Doing that in cars not clearly identifiable as cop cars seems even more ridiculous to me.  I presume these new cars have flashing lights on their roofs.  Anybody?


Juniemoon said:

 I'm curious what % of their time is spent sitting in their cars all day, "monitoring" the safety of PSE&G crews digging into streets & other like situations, ("eating donuts" is some people's perception).  Doing that in cars not clearly identifiable as cop cars seems even more ridiculous to me.  I presume these new cars have flashing lights on their roofs.  Anybody?

 The police monitoring utilities working in the roadway are off duty officers who are hired by the utility company.  This work represents 0% of the work for their police department.


ml1 said:

 fwiw, I am not sure the primary role of a police department is supposed to be traffic enforcement. 

Maplewood Police Department now has a dedicated unit for traffic enforcement.  This unit was created in response to an outcry from community members that too many pedestrians were being hit by motor vehicles while the pedestrian was obeying street crossing regulations and too many automobile accidents were occurring in town due to speeding, inattentive driving and ignoring stop signs, traffic signals and other markings.  Pedestrian safety and traffic calming have become an increasingly high priority in our town.  


joan_crystal said:

Juniemoon said:

 I'm curious what % of their time is spent sitting in their cars all day, "monitoring" the safety of PSE&G crews digging into streets & other like situations, ("eating donuts" is some people's perception).  Doing that in cars not clearly identifiable as cop cars seems even more ridiculous to me.  I presume these new cars have flashing lights on their roofs.  Anybody?

 The police monitoring utilities working in the roadway are off duty officers who are hired by the utility company.  This work represents 0% of the work for their police department.

 Not only is Joan absolutely correct, but even the cars they use are older vehicles no longer rated for use on duty.  


joan_crystal said:

Maplewood Police Department now has a dedicated unit for traffic enforcement.  This unit was created in response to an outcry from community members that too many pedestrians were being hit by motor vehicles while the pedestrian was obeying street crossing regulations and too many automobile accidents were occurring in town due to speeding, inattentive driving and ignoring stop signs, traffic signals and other markings.  Pedestrian safety and traffic calming have become an increasingly high priority in our town.  

I'm all for dedicated traffic enforcement units.  But there is no reason that fully armed police officers need to be the ones to staff a traffic enforcement division.  and there's no reason they need to have stealth vehicles to carry out their duties.


During the Police Auxiliary discussions, the Police Chief mentioned traffic stops as one of the most dangerous assignments performed by police officers.


joan_crystal said:

During the Police Auxiliary discussions, the Police Chief mentioned traffic stops as one of the most dangerous assignments performed by police officers.

the most dangerous aspect of it is being hit by other motorists when out of the car.  The odds of a traffic officer pulling someone over for driving too fast past St. Joe's being in mortal danger are near zero.


The fact that the word “Police” is barely visible on their vehicles can make a traffic stop even more dangerous. People are already paranoid about police intimidation. There’s no need for stealth vehicles, other than to sneak up on people violating speed limits and other traffic violations. It’s the advantage that they have, and it’s good for the town to collect more money. I’m all for catching speeders and violators of cross walks, I wish more police presence was feasible, but I know it’s impossible. A well marked police car is a deterrent. 


Jaytee said:

The fact that the word “Police” is barely visible on their vehicles can make a traffic stop even more dangerous. People are already paranoid about police intimidation. There’s no need for stealth vehicles, other than to sneak up on people violating speed limits and other traffic violations. It’s the advantage that they have, and it’s good for the town to collect more money. I’m all for catching speeders and violators of cross walks, I wish more police presence was feasible, but I know it’s impossible. A well marked police car is a deterrent. 

 You are contradicting yourself in your own post.  Every day someone here cries about almost being run down in a crosswalk or tailgated down ridgewood ave.  Yet you don't want the police to actually ticket people.  You just want well marked cars so  people know to slow down for the next 10 seconds.  I want people who are speeding down my street to get ticketed so maybe they will pay more attention to their speed, not spend their time looking for a black and white car.


I guess you’re not someone who is scared to drive late at night through suburban New Jersey. The police can do exactly the same thing in a black and white Ford Explorer. Traffic enforcement don’t need stealth fighters. 


FilmCarp said:

joan_crystal said:

Juniemoon said:

 I'm curious what % of their time is spent sitting in their cars all day, "monitoring" the safety of PSE&G crews digging into streets & other like situations, ("eating donuts" is some people's perception).  Doing that in cars not clearly identifiable as cop cars seems even more ridiculous to me.  I presume these new cars have flashing lights on their roofs.  Anybody?

 The police monitoring utilities working in the roadway are off duty officers who are hired by the utility company.  This work represents 0% of the work for their police department.

 Not only is Joan absolutely correct, but even the cars they use are older vehicles no longer rated for use on duty.  

 The trueness of yours and Joan's statements does not change the fact that the officers are still paid by the taxpayers with the contractor doing the work acting as a middle man and taking a %. 


at least it used to be, when companies like PSEG hired officers, they paid the hourly rate for the officer..so how is that taxpayers paying them?  its utility customers paying them through the fees in their bill.....since most utility payers are also taxpayers does that mean taxpayers are paying?

I have rarely seen any cops working one of these jobs actually doing something.....and sometimes traffic control is needed because the work backs up traffic.


ml1 said:

joan_crystal said:

Maplewood Police Department now has a dedicated unit for traffic enforcement.  This unit was created in response to an outcry from community members that too many pedestrians were being hit by motor vehicles while the pedestrian was obeying street crossing regulations and too many automobile accidents were occurring in town due to speeding, inattentive driving and ignoring stop signs, traffic signals and other markings.  Pedestrian safety and traffic calming have become an increasingly high priority in our town.  

I'm all for dedicated traffic enforcement units.  But there is no reason that fully armed police officers need to be the ones to staff a traffic enforcement division.  and there's no reason they need to have stealth vehicles to carry out their duties.

Is this unit active?  I have not noticed ANY difference in traffic enforcement. It's almost non-existent.



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