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NEWS > 01 December 2006

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Police integrity
POLICE face 2007 with a public less trusting of their integrity, according to the Herald Sun issues survey.

But readers should balance that against Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon's campaign to improve the ethical standards of police.

The drop in confidence from 71 per cent in 2005 to 65.5 per cent in 2006 has no doubt been caused by the jailing of six police, most of them former drug squad detectives on trafficking or related charges.

But that they were convicted, and the problem rooted out, is a positive sign.

Police are entitled to feel prou... Read more

 Article sourced from

Princeton Packet - Princeton,N
01 December 2006
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Police chief gets earful at to

Princeton Borough Police Chief Anthony Federico said he arrived Monday night at the First Baptist Church expecting to field basic inquiries about how his department functions.
Instead, he faced often accusatory questions and comments, most of which stemmed from a recent incident at Princeton High School.
In September, borough police officers removed four black students from class. Police said witnesses placed the four students at the scene of an earlier assault on Franklin Avenue, and the 14- and 15-year-olds were subsequently charged with complicity to robbery.
That incident sparked a series of conversations throughout the township about law enforcement procedures and ethics, and was one of the driving forces behind Monday night's community forum.
The evening drew more than 50 residents, and began with short presentations by Chief Federico and Health Officer David Henry about their departments' duties.
Mayor Mildred Trotman and Borough Administrator Robert Bruschi were also present to field questions and help moderate a two-hour question-and-answer discussion that, at times, featured more accusations than questions.
During the session, all but two of the residents who spoke directed their comments and inquiries to the police chief. Many statements centered on gang activity in Princeton and the relationship between the borough's police and its residents.
In particular, several residents said borough police officers have acted on bias.
One resident charged that African American males are targeted by the borough police, and another claimed the police had trampled the "civil liberties of our children."
Another resident said she questioned the urgency of the police's arrests at PHS, adding that the minors may now be identified by "gang spies."
"Their character has inadvertently been arrested," she added.
A longtime Princeton resident claimed she had "felt the wrath of the borough police," adding that law enforcement officials "protect their own they lie, they lie, they lie."
Mr. Bruschi summed up much of the discontent expressed at the meeting, noting, "The perception was that we were singling out black youth in our community and not handling them in the same way we would handle everyone else."
But Chief Federico said Tuesday that these accusations are unfounded.
"No one had any specific dates or times," he said. "It was almost like somebody was just repeating rumors."
He added, "Individuals have to come forward and report (bias incidents) to us. I don't have any proof that our officers are biased in any way, and I still don't have any proof of that after (Monday) night."
While Princeton Regional Board of Education member Alan Hegedus who attended Monday night's meeting said he "could see where (Chief Federico) might have felt put-upon," he added the evening was "an honest expression from parents and residents about a perceived problem."
He said he was "delighted and taken aback" by the large turnout at the meeting, noting, "There must be a giant hunger for this kind of interaction ... to bring so many people out."
Both Mr. Bruschi and Chief Federico agreed the evening was a learning experience for everyone involved.
"Anytime you have a dialogue with the community, it's a good thing," the chief said. "I did get a lot out of (the meeting). Unfortunately, I think some of the venting that occurred was unjustified."
Mr. Bruschi said the emotions many residents exhibited Monday night were indicative of "how important this issue is to them."
He added, "At times, it was painful to hear some of the comments, but I think that there were some general statements made that will help us think about how we can do a better job in both communicating and in addressing what I still believe is a perception issue in the community."
The administrator said he plans to meet with several other borough officials including Mayor Trotman to discuss a "game plan" to address the thoughts residents expressed Monday night.
"We want people to know we were listening that we didn't go in there and just take our lumps and then go home," he said. "We want to be able to react to this."
 

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