SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A pursuit for an unknown reason started on the New Jersey Turnpike south bound prior to the 80 mile marker. The vehicle being pursued exited Exit 8A in Monroe Township, the pursuit ended in the driveway of 1100 Cranbury-South River Road in South Brunswick Township about a 1/2 Mile from Exit 8A. Sources say that two suspects were in custody. No further information is available tonight, this is a developing story so check back for further information once it is released. (according to mapping software 1100 Cranbury-South River Road is South Brunswick Township 300 feet from the Monroe Twp. border but street address is listed as Monroe Twp.)
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Murphy released a statement on the passing of former New York City Mayor David Dinkins:
“The son of a Trenton barber and real estate broker, David Dinkins rose to lead New York City out of a time of political turmoil, seeking with a steady hand to heal longstanding rifts that had divided its residents. He faced early on the forces of discrimination that he would later commit his public career to breaking down when, as a student at Trenton Central High School, he wasn’t allowed to use the school’s swimming pool because of the color of his skin. That he was New York’s first Black mayor cemented a place for him in history, but he brought in other leaders who mirrored the City’s diversity, and initiated many of the changes that renewed its place on the world stage as a cultural center. Tammy and I send our condolences to David Jr. and Donna, and their families and friends, and all who worked alongside Mayor Dinkins. Our flags will fly at half-staff in his honor. May he Rest In Peace.” Governor Phil Murphy
Mayor Gusciora Statement on the Passing of Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins
Today we mourn the passing of David Dinkins, Trenton native and former Mayor of New York City. We offer our sincere condolences to his friends and family.
For many he was a historic icon, the first and only Black Mayor for our country’s largest city. For us, he was an important part of the Trenton community, a resident of Spring Street, a graduate of Trenton High School, and a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church, where his father was a Deacon. Mayor Dinkins often came back to visit our city over the years.
I like to think that living in this city helped shape his progressive positions on economic and racial equality, taking the values we hold dearly in Trenton and broadcasting them to an even bigger stage.
He looked forward to the dedication ceremony for the new Trenton Central High School last year but was unable to attend due to declining health. But I’m sure his memory will live on and inspire future generations of Trentonians to improve the lives of the disadvantaged, not just here but throughout the country. —Mayor W. Reed Gusciora
“The Columbia community mourns the loss of David N. Dinkins. We feel with his passing the end of an era. We knew David as the rest of New York did, as a person of wisdom, empathy, uncompromising integrity, and homespun humor, all qualities regrettably becoming vanishingly rare in public life. David was also a cherished member of the Columbia community for more than 25 years. He convened timely and meaningful public discussions, taught students in the classical method of the tutorial, and brightened our ceremonies and official functions with his ever-charming personal warmth and dapper self-presentation.
David was a steadfast leader for social justice, in detail and as a symbol. And, for me, he was a trusted and endlessly supportive advisor and friend. At this moment, I cannot help but remember how (as on so many occasions) he stood with me at a raucous public hearing before Community Board 9 voted on the Manhattanville campus. Then, as now, I felt stronger for his presence. Jean, who had a special bond with David, joins me in expressing the sense of irreplaceable loss.”
Mayor David N. Dinkins joined Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) as a Professor in the Practice of Public Policy in 1994. He serves on SIPA’s Advisory Board, and has hosted the annual David N. Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum for over two decades. The inaugural David N. Dinkins Professorship Chair in the Practice of Urban & Public Affairs at SIPA, Michael A Nutter, 98th Mayor of Philadelphia was selected in 2015. 2015 also welcomed the opening of the David N. Dinkins Archives and Oral History Project at the Columbia University Libraries.
Mr. Dinkins began his public service career in 1966 as a member of the New York State Assembly. He was president of the New York City Board of Elections, and served as City Clerk for 10 years before his elections as President of the Borough of Manhattan in 1985 and 106th Mayor of the City of New York in 1989.
As Mayor, Dinkins was responsible for the establishment of numerous widely heralded cultural staples such as Fashion Week, Restaurant Week, and Broadway on Broadway. His administration initiated the revitalization of Times Square and secured an unprecedented deal to keep the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in New York for the next 99 years. This arrangement generates more annual financial benefits to the city than the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, and Rangers combined. Mayor Dinkins also instituted “Safe Streets, Safe City: Cops and Kids,” a comprehensive criminal justice plan that expanded opportunities for the children of New York and continued to reduce crime in the years that followed his term.
In 2013, Dinkins published his memoir A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic, chronicling his career as a devoted public servant and New Yorker in love with his city.
This former mayor has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his long career, most notably, the renaming of the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building on October 15, 2015. In July of 2017, Dinkins celebrated his 90th birthday and stepped down from teaching his popular course at SIPA the following year. He continues to play an active role at Columbia University and serves a variety of civic and charitable organizations and Boards that assist young people including the Association to Benefit Children, Children’s Health Fund, Coalition for the Homeless, Jazz Foundation of America, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and Posse Foundation, to name a few.
David N Dinkins is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Advisory Board of the International African American Museum; serves on the steering committee of the Association for a Better New York and the Advisory Council of New York Urban League. He is a founding member of the Black & Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus of New York State and The One Hundred Black Men; a former vice president of the United States Conference of Mayors; Member-at-Large of the Black Leadership Forum; chairman emeritus of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS; Honorary Life Trustee of the Community Service Society of New York; Honorary Trustee of the Friends of Harlem Hospital; and Lifetime Member of the NAACP.
David N Dinkins graduated with honors from Howard University in 1950 with a B.S. in mathematics and an LL.B. from Brooklyn Law School in 1956; he maintained a private law practice prior to entering public service. He is a recipient of The Congressional Gold Medal for his service as a Montford Point Marine in the United States Marine Corps, during World War II.
David N Dinkins and his wife, Joyce Burrows Dinkins raised their children, David Jr. and Donna Dinkins Hoggard, in Harlem and continue to enjoy life in his beloved City of New York, though he was born in Trenton, New Jersey. They have two grandchildren – Jamal Hoggard and Kalila Dinkins Hoggard.
TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Angelo Grenci, 44, of Berkeley Township, has been charged with Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), in connection with the death of Carlton Williams, 50, of Seaside Heights.
During the evening hours of November 14, 2020, Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department and Berkeley Township Police Department responded to Community Medical Center in Toms River relative to a report of a male victim having been stabbed. Responding Officers found Carlton Williams with an apparent stab wound to his neck. Mr. Williams was subsequently flown to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries on November 21, 2020. A post mortem examination was performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner on November 22, 2020. The Medical Examiner determined the cause of Mr. Williams’s death to be anoxic brain injury, secondary to massive bleed from a stab to the neck, and the manner of death to be homicide.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, determined that Grenci stabbed Mr. Williams in the neck during an altercation that occurred in the area of Magnolia Avenue in the Manitou Park section of Berkeley Township at approximately 7:00 p.m. on November 14, 2020. On November 16, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, and Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, executed a court-authorized search warrant at Grenci’s residence in Berkeley Township. Grenci was taken into custody and was originally charged with Attempted Murder. That charge was amended to Murder after Mr. Williams succumbed to the injuries inflicted upon him by Grenci. Grenci has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension, where he remains pending a detention hearing.
“Fortunately, this appalling and senseless crime was solved expeditiously as a result of the hard work and dogged determination of all the Officers and Detectives involved in this investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “Through their combined efforts, an extremely dangerous person has been removed from the streets of Ocean County. We will now turn our focus to ensuring that justice is accomplished for Mr. Williams and his family,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ocean County Department of Corrections, State of New Jersey Department of Corrections, and New Jersey State Parole Board, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this matter leading to Grenci’s swift apprehension and appropriate charges.
The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
NJ to Receive more than $579,000 Share of $17.5 Million Settlement
November 24, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced today that New Jersey will receive $579,623 as part of a settlement with Home Depot that resolves allegations the retailer had inadequate security measures in place when data thieves infiltrated its information systems in 2014, compromising the personal information of millions of consumers across the United States.
Altogether, Home Depot will pay $17.5 million to 45 states and the District of Columbia, to resolve a multi-state investigation launched in the wake of a breach of the company’s point-of-sale information systems – specifically those involving its self-checkout kiosks. New Jersey served on the Executive Committee for the investigation.
In addition to its monetary terms, today’s settlement requires Home Depot to implement extensive reforms designed to prevent future breaches by strengthening its data security systems and encryption protocols.
“We’re committed to ensuring that companies adopt the cybersecurity measures necessary to protect their consumers’ sensitive information and to prevent identity theft,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Multi-state settlements like the one announced today incentivize companies to adopt best practices. And with our creation of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Section in the Division of Law, New Jersey is increasingly playing a significant role in multi-state investigations to protect the privacy of consumers across the country.”
“As self-checkout options proliferate and shoppers increasingly elect to pay using their phones or credit cards, retailers have a greater responsibility than ever to safeguard not only their online data systems, but their point-of-sale systems as well,” said Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Paul R. Rodríguez. “If retailers are going to receive consumers’ personal information and retain it in a database, they have a duty to be vigilant about securing their data. The terms of this settlement are designed to ensure that happens going forward.”
As a result of the data breach at Home Depot, intruders obtained the names, payment card numbers, expiration dates and security codes of more than 40 million individuals between April 10, 2014 and September 13, 2014. In addition, the attack resulted in the compromise of 53 million consumer email addresses and passwords. Home Depot did not discover the breach until months later.
The multi-state investigation looked at how intruders bypassed Home Depot’s cyber protection measures and placed malware enabling the theft of consumer information that consumers entered at store self-checkout kiosks.
The settlement includes a host of injunctive terms designed to shore up cyber security at Home Depot, including requirements that the company:
Create an Information Security Program headed by an executive or officer whose chief role will be to implement the program and advise Home Depot’s CEO and Board of Directors on security issues;
Provide security awareness and privacy training for all Home Depot personnel whose jobs involve access to, and responsibility for, the company network or consumers’ personal data;
Maintain encryption protocols designed to encrypt personal information stored on laptops or other portable devices, or when transmitted across public networks wirelessly;
Seek to devalue payment card information through such methods as encrypting that information throughout the course of a retail transaction at a Home Depot store;
Take steps to scan and map the connections between its cardholder data environment and the rest of Home Depot’s company network to determine avenues of traffic and identify potential vulnerabilities;
Implement password policies that use controls designed to manage access to, and use of, Home Depot’s individual accounts, service accounts and vendor accounts. The policies must require strong and complex passwords and password rotation, and prohibit the use of default, group, shared, or generic passwords;
Adopt a two-factor authentication approach both for the company’s system administrator accounts and for remote access to the company network; and
Employ firewall policies and use software and hardware tools that restrict connections between Home Depot’s internal networks and its cardholder data environment.
Deputy Attorney General Kashif T. Chand, Chief of the Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Section in the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group and Deputy Attorney General Jesse J. Sierant, Assistant Section Chief of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section in the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group, handled the Home Depot matter on behalf of the State.
S1163 Requires Every Patrol Officer to Wear a Body Camera and A4312 Regulates the Use of Body Worn Cameras by Law Enforcement Officers
Executive Order Establishes Working Group to Further Facilitate Implementation of Body Worn Cameras
November 24, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting on a commitment to further promote transparency in policing and build trust between police officers and the communities they serve, Governor Phil Murphy today signed two pieces of legislation (S1163 and A4312), which concern the use of body worn cameras by members of law enforcement. The Governor also signed executive Order No. 201, which establishes a 14-member Interagency Working Group to provide recommendations to the Governor’s Office and Attorney General regarding technology solutions to facilitate the statewide implementation of body worn cameras in law enforcement agencies. The Working Group will work to identify barriers to adopting body worn cameras and recommend technology solutions to facilitate their implementation.
“We’ve made it clear that New Jersey will be second-to-none in enacting vital reforms to promote transparency and boost public confidence in law enforcement,” said Governor Murphy. “Body worn cameras are a wise all-around investment in public safety that not only redouble our commitment to transparency and accountability, but also ensure that members of law enforcement are equipped with an important tool to help them carry out their sworn duties. Today represents another step down what we know is a long road to full understanding and lasting trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
“New Jersey has made great strides to promote a greater degree of professionalism, accountability, and transparency within our law enforcement agencies, and our state is committed to ensuring that our officers feel supported when they are in the line of duty,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “This legislation being signed today is about developing greater accountability and establishing trust between police officers and the people who rely on them every day to keep our communities safe.”
“We are in the midst of a national reckoning on racial justice, which has highlighted a lack of trust between law enforcement and many of the communities we serve,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Since day one, we have been committed to rebuilding and strengthening that trust, and we know that body worn cameras are an important tool in those efforts. They encourage professionalism, promote better interactions between police and the public, and have been universally welcomed by agencies across our state. Today, we not only take an important step towards the uniform, statewide use of body worn cameras, but also towards making New Jersey a national leader on yet another set of policing policies and best practices. I thank the Governor and the Legislature for their leadership and support in these efforts.”
“Today is a great day for New Jersey law enforcement and the communities we serve. The statewide implementation of body worn cameras represents an important step in strengthening the bonds of trust between police departments and communities while fostering greater transparency and accountability,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The New Jersey State Police has learned that recording interactions with the public from patrol vehicles for the last two decades has been a valuable asset in protecting both our citizens and our troopers alike. The addition of body worn camera technology is yet another layer of protection for our men and women in law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
“I would like to thank Governor Murphy and his staff for their relentless efforts in making sure all officers have body cameras for the protection of the community as well as law enforcement,” said Reverend John Taylor, New Jersey State Police Chaplain. “What a great day for New Jersey to be leading the way for the nation.”
“The body worn camera has proven to be an excellent tool for law enforcement officers,” said Quovella Spruill, Executive Vice President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives NJ Chapter. “Unfortunately, the principal detraction to this valuable technology is the cost. This has made them unattainable for many jurisdictions. These bills for body worn camera usage and funding are long overdue. Law enforcement and the community agree on the transparency needed to aid in protecting everyone’s rights. As a mother of teenagers, woman of color, and law enforcement executive, I see how these tools can better serve in improving our relationships with our youth and citizens.”
The signing of this bill into law today is a win for our communities and law enforcement,” said Carolyn Chang, Past President and Current Social Justice Committee Chair, Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey. “On behalf of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, we thank the Governor and leaders in both chambers for enacting this new law.
“I commend Governor Phil Murphy for taking the necessary steps to ensure the statewide use of this effective public safety tool,” said Camden Mayor Frank Moran. “In our community, body worn cameras have proven to be instrumental in the protection and accountability of police officers and residents alike.”
“Today, as law enforcement, we must work with our community and policy leaders with reflection and deliberation on the topics of policing and social justice reform,” said Wayne Blanchard, President of the State Troopers Fraternal Association. “When we have conversations, we get results that equal progress. I thank the bill sponsors and Governor Murphy and his team for including the STFA in the important conversations with respect to legislation on BWC.”
“This bill will ensure transparency for both the public and our law enforcement members,” said Pat Colligan, President, New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association (NJSPBA). “It will enhance officer safety and help us continue the extraordinarily high level of service we continue to provide the residents of our state.”
“The Fraternal Order of Police endorses Assembly Bill 4312 and it passage into law today,” said Bob Fox, President of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police. “Body worn cameras are a definitive tool to ensuring the safety of our brave men and woman in law enforcement, as well as, the people they serve. Body worn cameras represent another tool for law enforcement to utilize in the quest for the safety and security of the people while providing the latest technology in our pursuit of transparency. This law and its funding will help help continue the public trust and ensures the technology-based applications are used for the betterment of all New Jersey residents.”
S1163 requires every uniformed State, county, and municipal patrol law enforcement officer to wear a body worn camera, subject to funding appropriated by the Legislature. Exceptions are permitted for officers engaged in undercover assignments, meeting with confidential informants, performing administrative or non-uniformed duties, and when directed by a superior officer for a lawful purpose.
The bill was sponsored by Senators Shirley Turner and Linda Greenstein, and Assemblymembers Herb Conaway and Cleopatra Tucker.
“Police body cameras have become an essential part of community policing today,” said Assemblymembers Cleopatra Tucker, Herb Conaway, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, and Shavonda Sumter, in a joint statement. “They aim to ensure accountability for any actions which take place during a police stop, whether it is by the officer or a resident. Tensions surrounding community policing escalated after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The distrust between communities of color and law enforcement was once again highlighted in the national spotlight. A body camera is only one way of ensuring greater transparency and accountability for law enforcement, and to rebuilding community relations; however, it will be a uniquely powerful tool in getting there.”
A4312 regulates the use of body worn cameras by law enforcement officers. Under the bill, officers would be required to keep the camera activated when responding to a call for service or when initiating a law enforcement or investigative encounter. When immediate activation of the camera is impossible or dangerous, an officer would be required to activate the camera at the first reasonable opportunity to do so. Officers would be required to notify subjects that the camera is activated and, under certain conditions, may deactivate a camera upon the subject’s request. To protect the privacy of civilians in sensitive situations, the bill limits the use of body worn cameras while officers are on school property, in medical facilities, and in houses of worship.
The bill was sponsored by Assemblymembers Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Shavonda Sumter, and Cleopatra Tucker, and Senators Nia Gill and Shirley Turner.
“As we work to improve policing in New Jersey, setting clear guidelines for body camera usage is crucial for transparency, accountability and public confidence, safeguarding both citizens and law enforcement officers,” said Senator Gill. “These regulations will provide clear guidelines for how these body cameras are used allowing for consistency and reliability when footage is needed and pulled.”
“In recent years, body cameras have become a valuable tool for transparency, exposing instances of police misconduct and helping to hold officers accountable,” said Senator Turner. “They also protect officers against false accusations and reduce the legal costs associated with use-of-force lawsuits, which are ultimately paid for by taxpayers. Body cameras will help to create safer communities, and both officers and civilians will benefit greatly from rebuilding trust between police officers and the communities they have sworn to serve and protect.”
A copy of Executive Order No. 201 can be found here.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey’s artificial reef network has been significantly expanded through a deployment of 6,000 tons of concrete on the Manasquan Inlet reef site, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced.
Material for the first deployment on Oct. 28 consisted of 74 concrete forms, measuring 40 feet x 8 feet x 1.5 feet each, donated by Maher Terminals in Elizabeth, Union County. Another 77 forms were deployed Nov. 10. The forms, once used by U.S. Customs to scan shipping containers, were no longer needed and were slated to be recycled.
“This beneficial collaboration gives new life to these materials, keeping it out of landfills and providing habitat for a wide array of marine life, including species important to New Jersey’s world class commercial and recreational fishing sectors,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “We are proud to partner with Maher Terminals to enhance the marine ecosystem of our coastal waters.”
Artificial reefs are typically made up of concrete, steel, decommissioned ships and barges and provide a habitat for a variety of marine life. DEP studies have shown that these materials are colonized quickly with organisms such as algae, barnacles, mussels, sea stars, crabs, sponges and corals.
The structure of the reef, and the feeding opportunities provided by the animals growing on the reef, attract species such as black sea bass, tautog and lobster, and provide excellent opportunities for recreational anglers and divers.
“Maher Terminals recognizes the significant interconnection between providing efficient port and terminal-related services and our responsibility to the environment and communities where we operate and call home,” said Gary Cross, CEO of Maher Terminals. “The deployment of this reef off the New Jersey coast is part of our broader commitment to strengthening the local marine ecosystem and to investing in a greener future. We’re excited to give these concrete platforms a second life as part of New Jersey’s Artificial Reef Program.”
Encompassing a total of 25 square miles of ocean floor, the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program began in 1984, and currently consists of four reefs in New Jersey waters and 13 in federal waters. The program is administered by the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Marine Fisheries Administration. The program is sustained largely by donations of reef materials from private organizations and companies.
The Manasquan Inlet reef is approximately two miles east of the inlet and is one of the newest reefs in the artificial reef system. Center point coordinates are 40° 04.617’ N and 073° 59.040’ W. The reef footprint encompasses 0.84 square miles, but only two deployments had been made prior to today. The new material adds nearly 1.25 acres of artificial reef habitat on what was formerly featureless sand bottom.
This new feature inside the Manasquan Inlet reef site will be called the Maher Terminals Reef in recognition of the donation of material. Maher Terminals has also committed to revisiting the reef site annually for several years to document the progression of material from bare concrete to a reef ecosystem.
Earlier this year, New Jersey deployed a 150-foot long caisson gate on the Deepwater reef site, a tugboat on the Sandy Hook reef site and a memorial reef on the Atlantic City reef.