Rational and Sane

AOL

#1 Nov 18, 2006
Sounds like you've got a beef with the NJSP. Why would that be? You have absolutely no clue where a Trooper is going when he passes you on the highway. I do a lot of highway driving in this state, PA, DE, and MD, and have NEVER been tailgated by a Trooper in any of those states. I have yet to meet a Trooper (in this state or others) who brags about his "power."
Rational and Sane

AOL

#2 Nov 18, 2006
This post was in response to "i must be crazy". I fouled it up.
This is crazy

Elmont, NY

#3 Nov 18, 2006
Rational and Sane wrote:
Sounds like you've got a beef with the NJSP. Why would that be? You have absolutely no clue where a Trooper is going when he passes you on the highway. I do a lot of highway driving in this state, PA, DE, and MD, and have NEVER been tailgated by a Trooper in any of those states. I have yet to meet a Trooper (in this state or others) who brags about his "power."
What does not knowing where a State Trooper go have to do with anything? If a NJ State Trooper DOES NOT have his Siren and Flashing lights on HE HAS TO DO THE SPEED LIMIT just like everyone else! If I'm doing the speed limit and a NJ trooper passes me like I'm standing still, I don't have to be an Einstein to figure out he's abusing the speed limit.

I'm sure the majority of NJ State Troopers are honest and decent. As for Troopers from other states I make no judgement on them since I don't travel in those states. They are probably mostly decent as well.

I do have a beef with the element of NJ State Troopers who let their power go to their head.

I heard the mother of the 2 daughters killed by the NJ State Trooper (Trooper Higbee), on the New Jersey Radio Station 101.5 FM and to make a long story short she said the NJ State Troopers treated her like GARBAGE!

Even the talk show hosts said that the Troopers should for at least a few minutes "put down the badge and the gun and the NJ State Trooper BRAVADO" and act like human beings towards a grieving mother. The radio hosts said that the NJ State Troopers did not apologize to her for at least 2 weeks and ONLY did so at the urging of the radio station - so in essence their apology did not count. Many callers to the radio station also felt there were too many NJ State Troopers who hypocritically break the laws they are suppose to enforce.

Also if you don't think NJ State Troopers do not speed and tailgate people then you simply have not been on NJ Highways like the Garden State Parkway or in North Central NJ. Do all or most NJ Troopers do this? Of course not! But sadly a disproportionate amount of them do!! Maybe NOW they will slow down after they get this type of publicity.
Rational and Sane

AOL

#4 Nov 19, 2006
You got your info from the Jersey Guys? Oh, my God. That's all for ratings. It has since come out that the NJSP had the family's priest come to the scene that night and act as liason between them and the family. The family was not treated like garbage and it is certainly understandable that their recall of the events and communications of that night is shaky. The NJSP did attempt to reach out to the family.
The job of the NJSP and local law enforcement that night was to clear the scene and ascertain facts before notifying the family. There was a prior incident where notification was made too soon and was in error - can you imagine the horror for that family?
I am copying an article that appeared in a local paper regarding communication between the family and NJSP. I have to post it as a separate post due to length.
Rational and Sane

AOL

#5 Nov 19, 2006
Local priest defends actions, but allegations continue
State police attacked, criticized over fatal accident
By NANCY RUMP
MARMORA – The New Jersey State Police and the members of its local Woodbine barracks have been facing an onslaught of allegations, harsh criticisms and what could be viewed as more than a fair share of media bias following a fatal accident involving one of their own.
In the aftermath of last month’s crash here that claimed the lives of Jacquelin and Christina Becker, a Trenton-based talk radio show host said the trooper involved in the incident should put his gun in his mouth and blow his brains out.
Trooper Robert Higbee, 34, of the Woodbine barracks, was on patrol around 10 p.m. Sept. 27 when he failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Stagecoach and Tuckahoe roads and struck a minivan driven by the Becker sisters. They were pronounced dead at the scene. Higbee sustained non-life-threatening wounds to the torso.
The radio show has devoted several hours of air time to the topic, most recently featuring an interview Wednesday with the girls’ mother. Maria Caiafa also appeared on TV this week with family members, all noticeably distraught over the girls’ deaths.
The family says state police did not treat them right during the night of the accident, nor have they received condolences from authorities. They have retained the services of attorney Lewis B. April and filed a notice of intent to sue the state.
On the radio Wednesday, Caiafa said she believes there needs to be an attitude change with certain people in positions of authority. She said they need to remember they are dealing with human lives, adding that she believed there was an attitude of indifference regarding the loss of her daughters and that it needs to be addressed.
Caiafa has been reported as saying, the night of the accident, she called the Woodbine barracks and a trooper told her he had other calls waiting and hung up on her.
According to state police policy, the trooper who took Caiafa’s call could not answer questions regarding the identity of accident victims that soon after an incident occurred.
The Gazette also contacted the Woodbine barracks shortly after the accident occurred and, likewise, was given only minimal information by the desk sergeant who answered the phone. He confirmed just that there was an accident at the intersection involving a trooper’s squad car and at least two other vehicles. With ringing phones detectable in the background, the reporter was told other calls needed to be answered.
Several local television stations aired footage of the accident on their 11 p.m. news broadcasts that night. It is not known whether those images prompted members of the girls’ family to arrive at the scene. Following her phone call to the barracks, Caiafa said she went to the accident scene. Her parents, Caesar and Geraldine Caiafa, were already there. The girls’ were driving their grandparents’ minivan.
Once there, the family said it took several hours for the police to confirm their fears; that the girls had died in the crash.
Rational and Sane

AOL

#6 Nov 19, 2006
In the hours before the official notification was made, state police worked to secure the scene and preserve evidence. Police must positively identify victims before notifying the family. Not long ago, the organization misidentified the deceased victim in a father and son fatal crash because the father was carrying the son’s driver’s license at the time of the incident.
Meanwhile, troopers on the outside of the accident parameter blocked off traffic and held off onlookers, most unaware of the specifics of what was happening on the inside parameter, as they were charged with covering detours and crowd control.
After midnight, Rev. Robert Gregorio, of the Church of the Resurrection, said he was awakened by state police at his rectory door. The church is located a short distance from the accident scene.
“I give them credit for coming to get me,” Gregorio said.“They brought me to the scene and told me there were two victims.”
The act of bringing a member of the clergy to a fatal accident scene is not an uncommon act for authorities. It’s designed to help a family with their grief regarding tragic news.
Gregorio recognized the family as parishioners at his church, which then led to him serving, he said, as a messenger between police and distraught family members.
Gregorio said he recalls one member of the state police telling Caesar Caiafa the night of the accident that there would be a thorough investigation into what occurred. Gregorio said he then estimates talking to at least four different members of the NJSP about the accident in an effort to relay messages back to the family.
“With all the feelings out there at the moment, maybe something is getting lost in the translation,” said Gregorio.
He said the state police did attempt to do outreach, but in conversations with Maria Caiafa, he said, he and her agreed that the right time for police to approach the family would not be prior to the funeral, held the weekend following the incident. Also, Gregorio said, Caiafa was in seclusion after the ordeal.
“The whole idea of seclusion is to not be found,” he said.
With the family now represented by an attorney and a lawsuit on the horizon, it’s uncertain when closure will come between the girls’ loved ones and the state police.
“The fact that the attorney is now claiming there was no communication is confusing to us,” said state police Capt. Al Della Fave.“There is obviously a big breakdown in communication and its something we need to look into.”
Della Fave said state police Col. Rick Fuentes is “conscious of the gravity of the tragedy for the family.” He said the organization has discussed with the county prosecutor’s office here that when the results of the investigation are announced,“all parties will go over them with the family before releasing any information to the media.”
The state police have 30 days from the time of the accident to finish their report, which county prosecutor Robert Taylor said he expects to receive before the end of this month.
It is likely that the NJSP will issue the motor vehicle charges, if there are any. Taylor’s office would likely issue criminal charges in the case, if there are any.
Taylor said when the report arrives on his desk; he will confer with his investigators that have been working with the state police since the accident occurred. The county has a fatal accident unit.
Higbee, to date, has not returned to work at the Woodbine barracks and is still out due to his injury.
Caiafa, in her radio interview Wednesday, was asked what she would do if Higbee were to call her. She said she would answer his call. When asked what she would say to him, she said,“I have no idea.”
Rational and Sane

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#7 Nov 19, 2006
Wow - that was longer than I thought.

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