REPORT INACCURATE by WoodyWoodcock

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									REPORT INACCURATE

        While we have not had an opportunity to review the report in detail, on its face,
the so-called “report” issued by Frank Freyre and the Latino Leadership Alliance, Casa
Freehold and NJIPN is disingenuous at best.

        A quick review of the results set forth in the report evidence the fair and equal
treatment of all people by Freehold Borough Police. The results for the 30-day period in
January of 2009, and the random sampling, both of which reviewed all tickets issued in
the respective time frames, clearly show the lack of bias in the issuance of tickets. As the
report admits, Latinos comprise more than one-third of the Borough population and were
the recipients of approximately one-third of the traffic summonses issued.

        When the facts failed to support the Alliance’s political position, they did not let
that get in the way of their political agenda. The report fails to mention that they “cherry
picked” certain types of summonses (taxi and bicycle) to support their fallacious claims.
The report, which claims to be based on facts, fails to cite any proof for the allegations of
car pooling versus operating illegal taxis. The report fails to point out that the Freehold
Borough Police hosted several educational forums to educate those transporting children
in motor vehicles about the requirements for child safety restraints, seat belts, vehicle
occupancy limits as well as the law regarding taxis. The Alliance report fails to mention
how the Police and Recreation Department hosted “bicycle rodeos” and other educational
forums regarding bicycle safety.

         As a matter of fact, Borough officials met with Mr. Freyre and members of Casa
Freehold to discuss the dangers of riding bicycles amid heavy traffic and the need to
educate the Latino community on bicycle safety. What’s more, at one of the several
educational and safety events hosted by Freehold, the police had over 100 reflective vests
to distribute to the community. Despite asking the Latino Leadership Alliance and Casa
Freehold to support this effort for the safety of their constituents, only 7 people
attended. Other similar efforts aimed at offering education and safety training to the
Latino community have been poorly attended. The Borough Police Department has a
bicycle helmet program which provides helmets to anyone who needs them. The Police
also sponsor a rewards program where gift cards for Rita’s Ice are awarded to those who
practice good bicycle safety.

        Moreover, in a move to enhance relations between the police department and all
sectors of the community, the Freehold Borough Police Department held an introductory
seminar for community leaders on April 21st at the First Aid Department. The
interactive seminar, attended by a cross-section of community leaders, church officials,
council members, police officers and Police Chief Mitch Roth was led by international
human relations expert Kenneth Roman of Professional Diversity Consultants, LLC, a
noted speaker and facilitator who works with police departments and their communities
throughout the world. Only 1 person representing Casa Freehold bothered to attend.
        Most egregious in this alleged report is the failure of the authors to disclose that
the allegations regarding the issuance of summonses for illegal taxis have been fully
reviewed by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Professional Responsibility and
Bias Crimes Unit which found that there is no evidence to suggest that the Freehold
Borough Police Department, or any member of the Freehold Borough Police
Department violated… Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive 2005/1 which
prohibits racially influenced profiling.

        As to the report’s self serving recommendations: – #1 – Freehold already does
offer ongoing and systematic public education programs – sadly, the LLA, Casa
Freehold, NJIPN and their constituents seldom attend; #2 &3 have already been done,
not in response to anything from this report or this group, but because the Governing
Body believe it is in the best interests of our residents; #4- an annual report is provided
to the Prosecutor’s Office by every police department; #5 – a look at our meeting agenda
for September 8, 2009 will show that we are amending our ordinances to eliminate the
need for court appearances for some minor infractions. We will add a few each meeting.
This came at the request of our court clerk and police chief. Frank Freyre and his
Alliance should know that riding a bicycle on a sidewalk is prohibited by State Statute
and the Borough cannot change the penalties or the required court appearance.

         The facts of the matter show no indication of racial bias by Freehold Borough
Police or any Freehold Borough Official. The report itself is fraught with baseless
allegations that are downright offensive to the Police, the Mayor and Council and the
good people of Freehold. The Latino Leadership Alliance, Casa Freehold and NJIPN
should practice what they preach and work with their own constituents to provide
education and improve relations with the Police and municipality. Instead they are “no
shows” at nearly every event hosted by the police or town. The report states that “the
time has come to set aside old battles,” yet they chose to issue this report via a press release
rather than sit down and review it with Borough officials and work together on addressing
their concerns. It would seem they are more interested in headlines than any real dialogue or
relationship with the Governing Body or Police. The report itself admits the great strides the
Borough has taken. What then, was the purpose of this report?? What did they hope to
accomplish with a public vilification of our town, our elected officials and our police
department? What they accomplished is increased distrust, animosity and contempt. The
report contains a laundry list of demands they want the Borough to perform for them and
their constituents. They should take heed of President John F. Kennedy’s challenge: “Ask
not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country – [and
town].”

Mayor Michael Wilson and Freehold Borough Council

								
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