Complaint against Salem Police over park incident
To the editor:
I have to make a complaint about the Salem Police Department. On Sunday, Aug. 26 (he may have actually posted the original post on Saturday night), a young man complained to the police via Facebook about how he and his friends were treated by an officer in the park.
His post generated a lot of chatter. More than 100 comments, and more than 130 people liked it. Basically, for those who didn't see it, he said that he and his friends were enjoying their last real night of summer and messing around in the park approximately 10 minutes after 9 p.m. An officer approached them, swore at them and threatened them before making them leave the park.
Now, the park doesn't close until midnight. This was a fact that was argued on the post, and eventually whoever runs the SPD Facebook page answered the question and confirmed that the park did indeed close at midnight but that the Swings and Things playground closes at 9 p.m. So I asked if they were on the playground? This question was never answered, the post was simply deleted and that was the end of it.
Now, one can assume that this meant they probably weren't in the playground, however I can't be certain. But, if they were just in the park, then the officer had no business questioning them, let alone threatening and swearing at them. And he certainly didn't have any authority to bust them for curfew - unless, as stated, they were not in the proper area.
I understand that to many this may not seem like a big deal, and it really isn't. However, most people don't seem to understand precedent. When it's set, it's abused by all forms of government. If this is how the police are going to treat law-abiding citizens in this town, then to what extent do you think this will grow to in five years? Ten years? Where will it stop?
And on top of it all, rather than answer to the complaint of their wrongdoing, they simply deleted the post. So they've also set the precedent that they aren't accountable for their actions.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate nearly all of what the police do in this town. As far as I'm concerned, we have a good police force. Much better than those that I read about in other parts of the country. But they work for us, not the other way around.
Since it was censored online I thought the story should be told here. And before some of you go running off to look at my record (because if I had one my opinion wouldn't matter to most people), you won't find anything. Just wake up and realize that this totalitarian style of rule that is creeping into every level of government can not be tolerated no matter how big or small the issue is.
Salem Police Chief responds to above letter
To the editor:
On the evening of Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, at 21:06 hours (9:06 p.m.) the Salem Police Department did respond to a complaint of a large group of juveniles inside the Wooden Playground area.
The group was directed to the posted sign at the playground stating it closed at 9 p.m. The persons present were identified, and the only "threat" made was to inform them that a repeated violation could result in a charge of trespassing. My officers present strongly resented the report of swearing, and state they did not do so. They further stated there was no problem or arguing, just the notification of the park rules.
All who read this newspaper are aware of the many complaints and problems that we are facing in Centennial Park, particularly in the area of the playground and the swimming pool. Officers did look for any sign of illicit activity, and were pleased to find none. The kids did seem to just be having a good time. However, they were in violation of the rules, and were asked to obey the rules in the future.
As for the removal of the post on Facebook, the Salem PD Facebook page is OUR page to use for those purposes we find productive. It is not intended to be a page left available for anyone that wishes to complain or post negative statements about the Salem Police Department; especially when those statements are untrue or unverified.
We will continue to use this page to post alerts of various dangers, and to promote the ways we can help the public. As Mr. Mingus said, we are here for the public, not the other way around. We have not forgotten that, and really do appreciate our citizens for all of the support they give us.
CHIEF R.W. FLOOR,
Salem Police Department
This letter writer upset with Goshen Twp. cops
To the editor:
I was recently pulled over by the Goshen Township Police for an alleged speeding violation. I am an anesthesia provider and was called back to work for an emergency surgery. Traveling east on 165 just outside of Greenford, I was pulled over.
The police vehicle was parked approximately .05 mile from a 55 MPH sign. I was .1 mile from the sign when I visualized the officer raise his radar gun. I explained that I was on my way to the operating room and that I could see the 55 MPH sign.
I was detained at least 20 minutes while three officers stood talking between their vehicles before being ticketed and released to get to work. I realize that as police officers these men can make me wait as long as the feel like it, however, considering how close I was to the increased speed zone and the importance of my job, I would think they could be a bit less impertinent.
I would certainly hope if it were my family in need, a healthcare provider would not be so needlessly detained. A brief phone call to the operating room could have confirmed my story if it seemed too convenient. I will certainly do everything I can to avoid the Greenford area from now on.
CYNTHIA F. FLICK,
Resident echoes noise problem complaint in city
To the editor:
I would also like to address the noise problem brought up by an earlier letter. I learned I live on the same street. I live near a four-way stop which is terribly noisy with loud car stereos, motorcycles racing their engines at the stop and huge elevated trucks with loud exhaust pipes blowing black smoke with the noise.
It is not unusual to be disturbed 15 or more times a day and into the night, Bike Night downtown causes a steady stream of motorcycles going to and from downtown. Sure they have the right to go downtown for fun but do they really have to make so much noise in the process?
Where is the right of homeowners to have quiet? How about sitting on your porch to relax in quiet? Sitting on one's porch is no longer an enjoyable experience because of the noise. These people must have missed the character education lesson in school on manners and respect for others. Do they need so much attention they have to make noise to be noticed?
Adding to the street noise I also have a neighbor who insists the whole neighborhood wants to hear his loud music blasting into their homes. I have replaced all my windows and doors to try to filter out the noise but nothing has worked. I have politely asked him to lower the level. Sure he can listen to music but not so loud it disturbs me from watching my TV.
I am very thankful the Salem Police Department accepts my calls with professionalism and understanding to try to solve the noise situations. The problem is the police force is not big enough to post officers in noise complaint areas to catch the offenders.
I endure the noise until my nerves wear out and I then call downtown. They always respond but never hear the thumping noise that comes into my living room. I must turn my TV volume to nursing home level to hear the program I am watching. I do not want to bother the police when simple manners and respect would leave the police department time to work on the drug and theft problems in Salem. The police reports also show calls on barking dogs. Can't dog owners keep dogs from disturbing neighbors? At least dogs don't know they are disturbing others.
What is wrong with society? What happened to being kind and quiet and respectful to others without being asked? I hope Salem residents will respond in a positive way and try to bring Salem back to the city of peaceful, quiet living.
In conclusion, I want to again thank the Salem Police Department and dispatchers for their efforts to quiet things down. I wish there could be a resolution for the noise issues to free up our police officers for real police work.
Concerned about stray cat population in Salem
To the editor:
There is a vicious cycle of suffering in our beautiful city of Salem. The enormous stray cat population in our town is created by renters who move and victims of foreclosure who abandon these helpless animals. Others are "pets" that are not spayed or neutered and are allowed to roam the streets.
Did you know that one female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 more cats in seven years (according to the Humane Society of the United States)? Stray females live a life of great suffering. They can have three litters a year and do nothing but struggle to find food for the kittens and themselves. The lifespan of a stray is about three years, and death can be incredibly painful as a result of disease, starvation, vehicles and other animals taking their lives.
Programs abound for spaying and neutering at Angels for Animals. Discount rates are provided for people who qualify through the Rascal Unit, a mobile vet clinic that visits our county two or three times a year. Angels for Animals (AFA) is a thriving organization staffed primarily by volunteers.
It is funded through donations from generous people who recognize the important work AFA performs, as well as many fund raisers held through the year. AFA provides a drop-off area where often more than 20 animals are abandoned in one day. Each one that is left is treated with love and compassion. Many times these discarded animals must be euthanized. No organization can absorb this many animals and have the funds to care for them and the space to house them; this is a terribly sad reality.
Please think about this information before you adopt a pet. It is critical that you are sure that you are committed to caring for and protecting them for the rest of their lives. Educate yourself on what it means to provide a "forever home" to the animal. A great way to learn how to responsibly care for your pet and how to help the ones that are strays or abandoned is to volunteer at a local shelter. It's a real eye opener! Angels for Animals is an excellent educational resource and has a variety of volunteer opportunities to support diverse schedules and areas of interest.
Please take responsibility and hold yourself accountable for reducing the needless suffering and overpopulation of stray cats in our community. Spay and neuter your pets and keep them off our streets; these animals deserve a better life.
Has lost her faith in the whole election process
To the editor:
I am outraged by the recent antics by the R.N.C.! I believe the recent unconstitutional changes of the rules have cost them this election. The delegates should have been able to vote with their conscious and not be bound to one man.
What is the purpose of having a vote if there is only one man to vote for? Proudly I'm a Ron Paul supporter and whether you like the man or not it should outrage every Republican that rules were broken and changed to suit the party.
I no longer have faith in our election process, I no longer support the party, and I will not be voting for Romney or Obama! Ron Paul worked too hard and too long to have his efforts stolen from him. Not only is it a slap in his face it's a slap in mine. This country has been hijacked by corrupt politicians who are destroying what was once a beautiful country. Romney is no different than Obama, so either way we will suffer another four years. Since we can't write in a nominee unless they registered to do so, I will be voting for Gary Johnson!