Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nazareth Police Ripping Off Taxpayers

Police harassment of Nazareth skateboarders, which I told you about yesterday, is actually a recent phenomenon. But it's symptomatic of a much bigger problem - an out of control police force ripping off taxpayers left and right. Let me fill you in how they "serve and protect" us.

Before Chief Ruch became seriously ill, Nazareth police had a more enlightened approach about a lot of things, from skateboarders to police overtime. He made out fair schedules and instructed officers to show some understanding to skateboarders, who had no place of their own.

Most skateboarders would meet and practice at Schaeffer Elementary School. In fact, that's where a portion of the video I mentioned yesterday, was filmed. Although boards are technically prohibited, no one seemed to mind. Police officers and kids would simply wave at each other as cops went by on patrol.

All that changed over the Easter holiday. Chief Ruch, in a losing battle with pancreatic cancer, was no longer able to function. And as he surrendered the reins, a much darker and malevolent police department began to assert itself.

Warning Sign

Skateboarders felt it before anyone else. On Easter weekend, they were outside Schaeffer school. Some were playing ball while others played around with their shredsleds. When two part-time cops drove by, no one paid much attention. But suddenly, the rules had changed. Cops exploded from their cruiser, including a belligerent Officer Shawn Hummer. He screamed that he's "fuckin' tired" of kids skateboarding at Schaeffer, and proceeded to collect 18 skateboards, chipping away at them and laughing in the process. "Oops. Looks like I just chipped another board," Hummer laughed as he tossed boards in the cruiser. He also seized a bicycle and a very dangerous ball.

Shawn Hummer, incidentally, is the dude who miraculously escaped being charged with DUI in the slate belt this May under very mysterious circumstances. Here's my question about Hummer, a part-time cop who is pretty much an at-will employee. Why the hell is he still here? Do we really need guys like that in the Nazareth police department?

What happened to those kids on Easter weekend was a warning sign. Things were seriously amiss in the Nazareth police department. But few of us noticed. I know I didn't.

Chief Ruch's Funeral

The next sign of trouble came after the funeral for chief Ruch, who passed away on May 11. All police officers were given the day off, with pay, so they could attend Chief Ruch's funeral. Incredibly, they had actually decided to claim overtime for the time spent attending Chief Ruch's funeral. That is a disgraceful insult, both to the memory of their fallen chief and to taxpayers, who were already paying them to attend the funeral.

A former Nazareth police officer, now employed in the slate belt, told them, "You ought to be ashamed of yourselves." That's the only thing that saved taxpayers from a disgusting and tacky claim for overtime.

Missing Office Supplies

Did you know that at least two full-time Nazareth police officers have their own landscaping businesses? Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but people start getting suspicious when binders, paper and other office supplies begin to disappear. Things have become so bad that borough secretaries have been forced to lock up everything, even the color copier, which costs the borough 10 cents per page. It appears Nazareth police officers, supposedly here to "serve and protect us," can no longer be trusted.

Nazareth Cops Stick Taxpayers with $1300 Bill for Unauthorized Equipment

Not long after Chief Ruch surrendered control of the police department, cops proudly presented borough council with a $1,300 bill. With the exception of two batons valued at about $200, none of these items were authorized police equipment under their current contract with the borough. The same cops who insist that some poor kid should know that skateboarding on a basketball court is a crime, themselves plead ignorance over unauthorized items. In their case, it's OK. How's that for irony? Borough council quietly swallowed the $1,100 difference. Why not? You'll pay for it.

Police Wages Out of Control, and Include a 1,289% increase in Overtime for Part-Time Officers

A study of police wages between the months of February and May, shows an alarming 67.6% increase over the past five years. This study just happened to fall into my hands last night. In 2002, the four-month total was $73,918. This year, it's a whopping $123,937. In 2006, only $391 was paid in overtime to part-time officers. This year, it's $5,431. That's a 1,289% increase.

Why?

As I mentioned, two full-timers have businesses on the side, and this is their busy time. They are actually making their own schedules, and are allowing part-timers to soak the borough so they can pull in more dough themselves. For some reason, they're still able to pick up pretty much overtime themselves. Last year, it was $13,737 over that four month period. This year, it's still $10,321.

Everybody's happy, except for the taxpayer. It's nice to know that we're paying a 1,289% increase in overtime to part-timers so that some full-timers can get their landscaping business off the ground.

Where the hell is Mayor Earl Keller? He tells everyone he is the administrative chief of police, so why doesn't he step up to the plate and act like one? If he can't do that, he should resign. His responsibility is to taxpayers, not cops who are using taxpayers to help fund their landscaping businesses. He should be making these schedules himself, and should insist on disciplinary action against cops who abuse the public trust.

Police Serving The Landed Gentry

Ray Orwig is Nazareth's biggest commercial and residential landlord. I don't know the dude, but understand he has no love for local cops. He'd probably laugh if someone told him they think they work for him.

Start laughing, Ray.

About a week or so ago, Nazareth police were bullying a bunch of skateboarders at the still unopened skatepark in their own friendly way. Here's what Officer Papsy said to several of them, "You skateboarders are going to ruin it for everybody. Mr. Ray Orwig is a powerful man and has lots of money and will shut your park down."

What a wonderful lesson in government from the local constabulary!

Suffice it to say, Nazareth police have devolved from a force that protects and serves to one that punishes and enslaves.

Blogger's Note: I did call Nazareth police yesterday, and was told the acting chief was unavailable until tomorrow. I've decided to go ahead and post this blog anyway with my one-sided version. Blogs are interactive so they can post denials if they wish. I've already been told they deny cursing at kids. I believe the kids.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

skateboarding leads to dancing; dancing leads to ...

anonymous said...

Wow, nothing like telling a one-sided story from a skateboarder's point-of-view. You're putting a lot of stock in some of these children's tales. I'm not saying they are lying, but you sure do show contempt for the Nazareth Police Department.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:32,

Sorry, but most of this does not come from skateboarders, whom I incidentally believe.

1) The 1261% increase in OT for part-timers does not come from skateboarders, but is in fact part of a study commissioned about the excessive money being paid to cops.

(2) A 67% increase over the past 5 years is absolutely accurate, and no skateboarder gave me that info.

(3) Ask cops why so many supplies are missing from the borough offices. Ask them why they have to be locked away. Maybe they'll want to blame that on skateboarders, too.

(4) Ask Mayor Keller why he is letting full-timers who have landscaping businesses draw up the schedules, instead of doing it himself as the admin chief of police.

(5) Ask Nazareth cops why they stuck taxpayers with $1100 in illegitimate expenses, and whether they've even thought of paying it back.

(5) Answer my question regarding Shawn Hummer. Why is he here? We don't need part-time officers like that. And as a part-timer he's pretty much an at will employee, so why hasn't he been dumped?

In view of everything else I have, I tend to believe those kids. This is an interactive blog so you're free to tell me where I'm wrong.

But actually, I held back.

anonymous said...

Bernie, I only call to question the accuracy of the skateboarder's interaction with Officer Hummer. It's hearsay and should be noted as so.

I personally hate how some public employees milk the system to their own benefit without any regard for the taxpayers....But, you seem to ignore that the use of part-time officers is done to eliminate the need for full-time benefits. I would personally rather have excessive overtime by a part-time officer than and 35 year old retiring, collecting a full pension, and getting another job at a different municipality working toward another publicly financed pension.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:55,

1) Absolutely. This is hearsay. I did note on my post that my report is one-sided and does not have the police version. Incidentally, their denials would also be hearsay.

2) I believe the kids. I'll tell you why. I have heard too many claims from too many different kids that cops are cursing at them. My advice to the kids is that they had better start using their cellphones to tape record and film their interactions with cops. They have a constitutional tight to protect their reputations, especially when police contradict them.

3) On that specific occasion w/ Hummer, he was contradicted by every one of the kids. The other officer hung his head and was very silent when they were both confronted.

4) The 1261% increase in OT to part-timers has nothing to do with benefits. It has everything to do with cops juggling their own schedules so they can run their landscaping businesses.

5) We don't need part-time cops who are involved in very strange accidents in which drinking is involved and who are the subject of repeated claims of cursing. I'd be inclined to agree that we should try to professionalize that department by hiring more FT and less OT officers. Historically, Nazareth has had nothing but trouble from its part-time force.

A.J. Cordi said...

Anon 10:55,

Why so defensive? And what proof do you have to defend Officer Hummer? Were you there, or are you simply promoting the hearsay plea to defend a friend?

anonymous said...

I'm not defending Officer Hummer. However, I have casually known acting Chief Koch since high school (although I haven't seen him in many years). Although I think he's a good man, Bernie evidently doesn't think so. Since Allen took over as acting Chief, "out of control police force ripping off taxpayers left and right...as he surrendered the reins, a much darker and malevolent police department began to assert itself".

Bernie obviously has contempt for the Nazareth Popo but couldn't wait one day to speak to Chief Koch before spewing his vile about the police force. Next thing you know I'll be reading here how Nazareth Popo is worse than the Easton force of a few years ago.

I want to make it clear that in no way do I have a problem with skateboarders. I think it’s awesome they finally have a real park to practice their tricks and can do so without being harassed. I just wish Bernie would post something constructive not destructive. Instead of bitching about all the areas in town and the park they can't skate, maybe instead propose a change in the locations they can skate. For example, petition the borough council to allow skateboards to be used as transportation in town to get to the park. Petition the council to be able to skate to the concession stand from the skate park. If the skateboarders stick together to come up with some simple riding rules outside the skate park and help police themselves, it's a win-win situation for all.

As for the overtime pay, I agree and think it is wrong. Shame on everyone involved for taking advantage of a poor policy. With that being said, I still don’t agree with the “out of control” moniker placed on the entire police force.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 1:32,

I tried calling the Nazareth PD yesterday, and acting chief Koch was off. I tried again today and was told he's in and out.

I consider this a very important story and am unwilling to wait. I think it's important enought to get it our there now.

As far as Chief Koch is concerned, he is just the acting chief. I don't expect him to take control. I do, however, expect the mayor to exercise his authority. As he likes to remind everyone, he is the administrative chief of police. All these excesses have occurred under his watch. The problems with scheduling have continued, even after they were brought to the mayor's specific attention.

So actually, I don't blame this on Koch. I do blame it on Keller, who is supposed to be representing us, not cops.

In truth, the Nazareth PD is rocketing out of control. And they are ripping off taxpayers.

1. Supplies and a color copy machine have to be locked away from them.

2. They do their own scheduling so that some cops can operate their landscaping businesses and stick taxpayers w/ a 1261% increase in OT pay to part-timers.

3. Police wages have risen 67% over 5 years, and that is more than Nazareth can afford.

4. This is an interactive blog, not a newspaper. if my facts are wrong, someone can correct me.

5. I linked to the incident concerning Hummer. And there have been complaints about his use of profanity around children. As a part-timer, I believe he is pretty much an at-will employee. Do we need this headache?

In addition to my specific complaints there are other matters I chose not to write about, but they are equally disturbing. I will write about them once all the facts fall into place. The reason I haven't written about them is precisely because this is not just someone "spewing his vile." The facts I published are right.

And I decided this story is too important to sit. Brushing these things under the rug is exactly what leads to more trouble. It's what happens in other police departments. I don't want it happening here.

And if truth be told, I think most Easton cops are very dedicated and good men. I never viewed it as a bad police force. I don't think Nazareth is bad either, but they are spinning out of control. Unless stopped, it will be a very bad police department before too long.

old skater said...

Hummer's still at it, huh? He used to manhandle skaters when he was working for Bangor a few years ago. It was usually the 10-to-15-year-olds he went after, always with a s**t-eating grin on his face. He was pretty reasonable otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Bernie:

FYI. The original post to Ross's council blog was by JillAlan. Sounds alot like Jill & Alan Koch to me!

Mysteriously their post was deleted because Ross messed something up when trying to setup a link (blah, blah, blah). I don't think the post going missing was an accident. Interim Chief and cartwheeler extraordinare Alan probably had a problem with his wife Jill -- aka the worst crossing guard known to mankind -- posting something under that moniker.

Everyone knows Ross is such a Nazareth apologist and kiss ass that he would willingly help the Koch's post go missing!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 2:36,

I didn't know there was an original post. But I can tell you that sometinmes blogger causes trouble. If you have to repost a blog, usually the comment is gone, too. Ross is OK. Sometimes we have different views, but that's fine with me.

Tom Foolery said...

Can I assume you are moving out of the Nazareth area soon?

Anonymous said...

Let's not paint both of the part time landscapers with the same brush. One is a stand up officer who can protect and serve my family any time. He has been on the force longer and pre-dates any of this missing paper and supplies.

The other is a testosterone laden jerk who proudly touts his sons wrestling accomplishments on the back of his truck. (Covering up his own inadequacies perhaps?) If I were looking for theft of supplies and misuse of equipment I would start there.

Anonymous said...

From Ross's blog ...


Note: This was posted 7/3 and I went to tinker with a link and add one to other past articles and messed it up (deleted it instead of saving it actually), but fortunately I had it saved in email so here it is again as posted previously.


Just too coincidental that this snafu happens the only time that JillAlan has chosen to post.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom Foolery, I'v already been kicked out of every other town in Northampton County.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 2:49,

I'm not interested in seeing any of those guys tagged. I am interested in seeing they are properly supervised. Where's our administrative chief of police, i.e. Mayor Earl Keller. This is his responsibility. The inmates are running the asylum.

Anonymous said...

I have known Ross a long time and I would say he is a genuinely nice guy. He loves Nazareth. He is smart and well educated. He is considerate, honest and kind. He may be opinionated but he uses only the facts when presenting a story or if he is giving his opinion he tells you it is just his opinion.

I think he doesn't like to hurt people unjustly and that is why he didn't want to let the comments on his posts get skanky. Even though they were not his comments. He likes to avoid tastless slander and name calling.

I truly believe he thinks things can be accomplished without the use of harsh language and unfounded personal attacks.

Personally I think you just don't like him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 3:06,

I can disagree with someone without disliking the person. I respect and admire Ross. WE have different styles, and I disagree w/ his comments policy. But I've always supported Ross and we actually complement each other.

In this instance, I think Ross was way off. His post itself was something I considered slanted and inaccurate. I have my opinions and I'll state them. There was no personal attack, but just a disgreement over what I think aere important issues.

Anonymous said...

The Nazareth Gestapo, and their spokesperson, Oberfuhrer Hummer!
You vil not Skate on ze Board!
Snell! Snell! Shoot ze criminal skate boarders!

Whatever happened to police officers being "Peace" officers?
Sounds like in Nazareth, they've become, "I'm getting my piece" officers. Landscaping, yeah right. Have mower, will travel!

LVDem said...

Hey Bernie, do you plan on driving through town any time soon? I only ask b/c you are a traffic ticket waiting to happen. What's that, broken tail-light? Time to get that fixed.

And don't even think about busting out the bike. They'll find a way to get you there too.

Let us know if you need bailing out.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Not to worry, LVDem. There;s a long list of people who'd love to do me a favor. Lamont McClure, Joe Long, Jolly Joe Timmer, Sam Bennett, Bernie Kieklak, Lisa Boscola, the editors of both papers, every single Northampton County judge, the state supremes and a host of others would rush to my defense.

In the meantime, I'm parking where they'll never find me -- in the skatepark!

A.J. Cordi said...

Makin' friends all over...

Observer said...

Bernie,
If I had friends like you,I'd move to Mexico.

Bernie O'Hare said...

They don't like me there, either.

Devon Seiple said...

Your an asshole. Glad i moved out of that town before you moved in. Get a life. Vermen like you deserve everything they get. I commend you for your cute little "blog".

Bernie O'Hare said...

Devon,

My day is not complete without a compliment like that. I'm glad you like my blog. Be sure to tell your friends. Some of them must know how to read. If they can't, I try and include some nice pictures.

Anonymous said...

I just read your crap about the poor skateboarders. You really have no idea what the community of Nazareth puts up with when it comes to these monsters. They have no manners and are not taught any respect. As far as I'm concerned the police department can talk to them any way needed. These kids swear at drivers, won't move for drivers and have normal kids scared to be near them. Maybe their parents ought to start teaching them a little respect and then the police department won't have to be the parent for them. You talk about our police force raising our taxes, what do you think that skate park is doing to our taxes? At least our police force is worth the money. Police officers protect and serve, they have a very important job and should get a good pay.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1) I know exactly what those "police officers" are doing and so do many others in town.

2) The skatepark was paid from impact fees assessed to developers. If not used it would have to go back to them. Noit a dime of taxes paid for this.

3) No, those cops can't speak any way they want. This happens to be the US, not Nazi Germany.

4) You don't teach kids to r-e-s-p-e-c-t yuou by cursing at them.

5) 1261% increase in OT for part-timers is OK? It is, if you're a cop.

6) 67% increase in police salaries over 5 years is ok? I guess, if you're a cop.

Anonymous said...

i can't help but comment on the many, and I do mean many, inaccurate "facts" you are poisoning the community with in regards to the police dept. First of all, a borough secretary denies any knowledge of supplies being stolen and there is NOTHING being locked up to prevent what you say is happening.
also, in regards to the skateboarding on private property- ANY MORON THAT HAS HALF A BRAIN AND CAN READ should know that their dumb asses are not wanted on that property, mostly because there is a big unwanted liability by the property owner. If that property owner requests that the police enforce their posting, then to me it is common sense that the police are doing what they have an obligation to do. Also, what are the parents of these skateboarders teaching their kids by allowing them to trespass where they don't belong? In regards to the supposed 67% in salary, if this is the case then obviously this had to be approved by the borough and is in the police contract. How are the police responsible for "ripping off" the taxpayers? Not to mention, since when do part timers get overtime? You obviously have no clue as to what you are talking about. In conclusion, this brings me to Chief Ruch. I know, for a fact that he was well respected and well liked by all the officers. He also has a great family, too. Those officers attended Chief Ruch"s services because they genuinely cared about him and his family- not to make a profit and overtime as you are accusing them of doing. P.S. What does a guy supporting his son's athletic accomplishments have to do with the kind of police officer he is? Maybe the skateboarders' parents should take a hint and learn a thing or two about the correct way to support their children and their accomplishments instead of supporting behavior unacceptable to the community.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 4:48,

I stand by every word I wrote in my post. Sadly it is information from the inside. Supplies are missing. They have had to lock things, including a new color copier. Wages have gone up 67% over the past 5 years but not bc of the contract. It is becauise officers are allowed to write their own schedules. There is overtime for part-time opfficers, and that is up 1261% over last year. This is bc officers are writing their own scheduules and two of them have landscapaing businesses. I stand by every word I wrote about Chief Ruch and his funeral. Yes, he was respected, but the officers do not respect Nazareth. As far as skateboarders go, you don't teach kids anything by cursing at them or by arresting them when they've committed no crime.

No clue as to what I'm talking about? Sorry, dude, it is all too true.

Anonymous said...

Skateboarders don't learn respect from the police force- they learn it at home, first. If they weren't riding in front of cars, yelling at motorists, or skateboarding on private property, then there wouldn't be an issue in the first place. Any logical parent with a brain in their head wouldn't allow their children to do these things in the first place- it would simply be a non-issue for the police to even be involved. To say the police don't respect Nazareth is a load of crap. The "inside" person you received your "accurate" information from obviously is one who is anti- police and I think that most citizens of Nazareth already know who that is. Also, to liken the police force to Nazi Germany is in really poor taste and just outright disgusting. To compare the heinous acts of the Nazis against millions of innocent people to Nazareth P.D. is sick- but then again I guess we should consider the source.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say im sorry about your failed political career. Its obvious this blog was the next best thing for you. But dont worry look at the bright side, seems to me nobody in Nazareth can stand you. Therefore you are just like a politician.

Anonymous said...

HOW NAZARETH P.D. SERVES AND PROTECTS: LISTEN UP- 1. They are always available 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, every holiday, weekend, every time of day and night 2. They mostly deal with undesirable people, e.g. scum of the earth such as druggies, DUI offenders, child molesters,batterers, etc. Hey, anyone want to apply? 3. They leave their families EVERY DAY to protect people they don't even know, and never know if they will return to their own families every night. Damn right these guys should get a good salary, if that was indeed the case. Hell, Bernie, you probably make more money and all you do is sit on your ass all day with your face jammed into a computer (and give people grief). Want to switch careers since you seem to have the answers to everything?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:44, 9:05,

1) Hate to disappoint, but I never entertained any political ambition.I do like to write, and I thiank you for your interest. Do me a favor and pass the word along to a few of your frineds.

2) I don't decide what to do or write based on whether people will "like me." So frankly, I don't give a shit what others think. I'm more interested in being right than being popular with the good 'ol boys. And in this instance, my facts are right. That's what's really bothering you.

3) Your mentality is very much like that which existed in Nazi Germany. You defend cops who think they can curse at kids and charge inncoent people, and who rip off taxpayers. It's that attitude which leads to totalitarianism. Having said that, I agree that the analogy to Nazi Germany is inappropriate for all the reasons you say, and I apologize for that reference.

4) Actually, many people gave me the info from which I wrote this post. These are not the idle rantings of one or two persons. I guess they must all be detested, too. I had plenty more than one source. When I write about Nazareth, I have to because there is a very dark and nasty authoritarian undercurrent that will always viciously attack me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:08,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but people don't get drafted to become police officers. That's the life they choose. And no, they do not deserve a 67% increase in salaries over the past 5 years and should not be cursing at children or getting thrown out of bars. They should not be sticking the boro w/ a $1,300 bill for unauthorized stuff.

I have great respect for what they do, but that does not give them a license to pillage the boro. And they are not above the law.

Anonymous said...

what unauthorized stuff? You mean the equipment needed by new part- timers to perform their duties? Please provide a list. Also, you keep avoiding my comments regarding the inappropriate behaviors of many (not all) of the skateboarders towards people in the community. Let's put the blame where it belongs. Also, could the 67% increase in the past 5 years be due to Nazareth increasing the size of the police force. I notice that now there is more than one officer on patrol at a time, unlike in the past. And no, people are not drafted to become police officers, which is my point. Most officers choose their jobs because they WANT to help people, not because they have to.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:39,

1) I am informed that only $200 of the $1300 bill recently submittred by Nazareth police was for items the boro had agreed to pay under its contract w/ police, i.e. batons. The remaining items were not permitted and included items likes coats and gloves for two full-timers. I also understand that items must be now cleared in advance before a purchase is made. That's an example of an $1100 ripoff. Cops who negotiated thios contract claimed they didn't know. It's ironic because they seem to think a skateboarder should know that he is not allowed to skateboard on a basketball court.

2) I don't address your comments re skateboarders because that really is not the issue - it's an out of control police force. Whether you like it or not, that is the common perception in my neck of the woods. But if you want me to address your comments, let me say that my experience has not been your experience. Most kids here are pretty good kids, and that includes the skateboarders. They're no different than the other kids. I don't defend any person who vandalizes someone's property. But that does not authorize cops to arrest a kid for skateboarding on a basketball court, especially where there is no sign prohibiting their use. That's not vandalism now, is it? It's just harassment.

3) I'm very dubious about your claim that someone becomes a police officer because he wants to "help people." Many of the young officers I see, with their skin head hair cuts and racing gloves, look more like they want to bust some heads. Just a few days ago, we had a young Forks officer arrested for falsifying information in a DUI arrest. That's not helping people. Nazareth's own Officer Hummer, who also works in Forks, was involved in an accident in May. Drinking was involved. The officer who refused to cite him had to leave the force. Is that helping people? Officer Hummer, a few weeks ago, was ejected from Flurer's after being in a fight. Again, booze was involved. Is that helping people? The older officers all seem much better, but there's something off with the new crew. How about Vanessa, the full-timer involved in an accident involving injuries. She actually rear-ended someone. Is that helping people?

Now I realize you're probably a cop or the mayor or someone closely connected to them, so this may not work for you. But if you're not, do yourself a favor sometime and wave at a Nazareth cop. The younger ones will not even acknowledge you. That's the only police force around here in which I see that attitude. Is that helping people? No, something is seriously amiss. I actually feel sorry for the cops who have been around for awhile and who make Nazareth their home. They don't deserve to be sullied by the attitude of these other officers. Now I could keep my mouth shut and wait for something really big to blow up and watch all the officers get excoriated, ecen the good ones. Or I could open my mouth now, and say things are off. I choose to do the latter because I actually do care and want the cops that do help people to stay on the force. We should encourage those officers, and discourage others who curse at kids and get in barroom brawls. You say "let's put the blame where it belongs" and I agree completely. We don't need cops who have a bad attitude. They are lawsuits waiting to happen. That's why I opened my mouth. Detest me all you want.

4) I am sure that some of the 67% increase is entirely legit, and think the 1261% increase in OT for part-timers might also have some legitimate explanations. But I am also certain that much of it is illegitimate. There simply in no excuse for allowing officers to set their own schedules, especially when some of them have other businesses. That's just asking for trouble now, isn't it?
The mayor, who likes to call himself the admin chief of police, had assured borough council the acting chief was doing that job. He wasn't. And really, he shouldn't be put in that position. The mayor, who has an obligation to the citizens of Nazareth, should be doing that himself until a new chief is on board. Then you'll see those costs go down.

5) Just so you know, I spend a lot of time blogging, and have made practically no money doing so. My motivation is not political, but an abiding interest in transparent and accountable government. If I had political aspirations, the last thing I would do is blog. My goal is to improve our government. If what I say about the Nazareth PD opens some eyes, I will have served my purpose. If it does not, there will be more reports because I continue to hear stories.

Anonymous said...

Look, Bernie, I can agree with you (miraculously) that every profession has it's bad apples, even yours I'm sure. But to label an entire dept. as basically a bunch of rampant hoodlums, is unreasonable. I disagree with your assessment of Officer Cruz. I'm sure that her rear ending someone lacked criminal or malicious intent. Accidents do happen. Police are not infallible in their jobs. We all make mistakes in our own professions. However, I'm not defending officers who blatantly show disrespect for the law. I agree they should be held to same standards as other citizens. As far as the unauthorized "stuff" as a citizen of Nazareth, I can't say that coats and gloves (a requirement of their jobs) is a big to-do. Gimme a break!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 11:15,

OK, we agree then that every profession has some bad apples. I happen to be one of the bad apples who was weeded out of the legal profession, and it was because I had no control when I drink. It was the right thing to do.

And so it should be with a police force. We both agree there are bad apples. You may wish to defend Officer Cruz, and I certainly never suggested for a moment that she had acted criminally. I mentioned that as being inconsistent with an "I'm here to help" attitude. She might or might not be a good officer, but I have seen first hand how recklessly and fast she drove before that accident.

I honeslty don't know why Officer Hummer is even on that force. One officer like that can pollute an entire department.

There is a very bad attitude in a segment of that department. I don't wish to see the good officers on that force sullied by that attitude. I think it is important to point it out so that it does not get worse.

Just as it is irresponsible to label all skateboarders as a "bunch of rampant hoodlums," it is equally illogical to make the same conclusion about cops. But I know many folks who now have that attitude. In fact, they've had that attitude for some time, and I've only recently discovered it.

Now, as you say that some skateboarders are irresponsible, I say that sdome cops are irresposnible. Between the two, irresponsible cops are a much bigger problem and can do far more damage.

Anonymous said...

this anonymous "commenteer" im sure hes a cop, and if not hes got cops for best friends. I am a skateboarder, and i have been since the age of 9. Ive been kicked out of places hundreds of times but, cops always were polite, kind, and understanding. We all would leave and cooperate with the cops... no problem.
After seeing the videos of the completely "ego tripped" fuzz balls on www.yourdailymedia.com and on your website i began to relize that there are more crooked cops, closer than we relize. Now im not saying all cops are crooked but man that guy is nutz... and a complete meglomaniac if youd ask me.
All of your facts, Bernie, are closes enough to fact for me to belive.
This anonymous is probably blowing out this ass with money, has no clue about the true enjoyment of skateboarding, progression, speed, true friendship and everything else that has to do with skateboarding. He probably does just about nothing. Ive met many people like him before. They just are ignorant to the sheer fact that they are THE OLD GENERATION and they just are too damn selfish to accept that we are the NEW GENERATION and this is just one thing we love to do.

he should watch fuel tv or turn on some skateboarding videos so he maybe could understand!
Im glad i read your entire posts on the nazareth police. But i also am commenting to say the this new skatepark is going to kick some major tail fethers!

Anonymous said...

sorry, kid, but you are wrong. I'm not a cop, just a citizen. I have no problem with skateboarding, just some of the rude kids that participate in it. Not all are rude, but unfortunately, the rude, disrespectful ones give others a bad name. Skateboarding is a true show of athletic ability and is a real test of skill and coordination. It's pretty cool to watch. By the way, you seem pretty sure that I'm an old dude- boy, would you be surprised if you really knew the facts.

Bernie O'Hare said...

unfortunately, the rude, disrespectful ones give others a bad name.

You are sooo right, whether it involves skateboarders ... or cops.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more.

ERIC said...

I was wondering Bernie, do you think that anonymous feeble minded people can hinder the advancement of a civilization or society?

Will I guess they really can't, they can however be like nats at a picnic.

I hope I was able to get my point across, if not I will use caps next time, that should do it.

Firefighter said...

Listen I'm 17 and even I know if there where no police Nazareth would not be the great town it is. Police keep this country in line. Skateboarders are notorious for being vandals, and that assumption won't change. I just have a question for all you police haters; Who do you call when you need help? You may think police are corrupt and spend tax dollars, but, all that helps keep you safe.