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Police Plan to Address Quality of Life Issues

OPERATION RICE KRISPIES

A COMMUNITY-BASED PLAN TO
ADDRESS QUALITY OF LIFE VIOLATIONS
IN RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS

CHIEF KEVIN R. O’HARA
LT. ROBERT J. DIKUN, PROJECT COORDINATOR

JULY 19, 2011



The Governing Body has requested that the Police Department provide an opinion and possible summary action plan concerning the deteriorating quality of life, particularly in District 4, and whether it can be addressed through high impact patrols and enforcement, commonly referred to as a police “crackdown”.
The basic elements of a crackdown are: 1) a heightened police presence; 2) increased severity or certainty of sanctions, and 3) publicity. It should be noted from the outset that the presence of all three elements does not necessarily translate to a successful operation. At times these elements can work against each other in a cause and affect reaction. For example, a custodial arrest of an offender results in an increased severity, however, it also results in the reduction of a police presence in order to process the prisoner.
Research has shown that the best way to maximize the benefits of a crackdown is to conduct them briefly and intensely and resume them either at unpredictable times in the future when target offenses return to certain predetermined levels.
As with any enforcement operation there are positives and negatives associated with its implementation:

THE POSITIVES OF A CRACKDOWN
1. They offer the promise of firm, immediate action.
2. They appeal to public demands that order be restored when disorder seems out of control.
3. In the short term, they can reduce crime and disorder in the targeted area.
4. When done properly, they can have a residual, ongoing, deterrent effect.
5. They can result in a diffusion of benefits (ie. reduction of crime and violations outside of the target area).
6. They can have a positive effect on police-community relations and tourism.

THE NEGATIVES OF A CRACKDOWN
1. The expense of implementation is rarely offset by monetary penalties.
2. To be effective they must be sufficiently long and strong. A marginal increase in routine police activity is unlikely to produce significant effects.
3. They often result in only a short term benefit.
4. They rarely result in a positive long term gain unless they are implemented as part of a comprehensive, multi-faceted, multidisciplinary, strategy.
5. Many involved in acts of disorderly conduct, criminal mischief or quality of life violations are not generally deterred by negative consequences and, therefore, this type of enforcement action can have little effect on them.
6. They can result in displacement of crime and disorder.
7. They can have a negative impact on police-community relations and tourism.
8. Regardless of the level of success, there is an additional cost associated with not doing something else with the resources utilized in the crackdown.
9. They result in additional, collateral, expenses not specifically associated with the crackdown itself (ie. clerical to process reports and related paperwork, court personnel to administer the complaints generated by the enforcement action).
10. Statistics often do not effectively measure any level of success.

LOCAL CRACKDOWN GOALS
1. To reduce acts of disorderly conduct and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, particularly in District 4.

OBSERVATIONS AND LIMITATIONS
1. Problems appear to be:
a. Permanent unless addressed;
b. Prevalent; and,
c. Persistent.
2. Acts of disorderly conduct are not just limited to weekends and “bar closing” hours or to District 4.
3. Adjusted scheduling of police has resulted in increased enforcement but has had little effect in increasing some residents’ perception that their quality of life has improved.
4. Visitors are increasing in record numbers.
5. The use of mass transit has increased by visitors.
6. The use of transportation for hire has increased by visitors.
7. Alcohol use by violators is a common factor.

ACTION PLAN
“OPERATION RICE KRISPIES”
1. On targeted evenings, implementation of high impact and visible foot patrols in District 4 with a continuing zero tolerance towards violations:
a. SNAP – increasing the basic principles of the Strategic Neighborhood Action Plan;
b. CRACKLE – breaking up acts of disorderly conduct before they rise to an aggravated level; and,
c. POP – zero tolerance enforcement philosophy where all Perpetrators & Offenders are Penalized.
2. On targeted evenings, implement strategic traffic redirection in District 4 from residential sections from 11:00PM – 3:00AM.
3. Plain clothes bike patrol staffed by Regular Police Officers – 4 nights each week for the remainder of the summer season - $20,000.00.
4. Comprehensive local and regional media coverage.
5. Funding for off-season weekend patrols.

PROBABLE POLICE DEPARTMENT LIMITATIONS
1. Probable inadequate staffing to fully implement action plan to meet goals.
2. Probable inadequate number of supervisors to fully implement action plan to meet goals.
3. Cost – estimated at $50,000.00-$75,000.00 for the time period of July 29, 2011- September 5, 2011.
4. Alternatives appear limited. In the current environment, the action appears to be the only viable short-term alternative.
a. Plan is short-term with limited carryover expected for the 2012 summer season.

ADDITIONAL ACTIONS REQUIRED FOR CARRYOVER AND LONG-TERM SUCCESS

POLICE-RELATED TOPICS:
1. Appointment of 23rd and 24th Regular Police Officer and promotions of staff and command officers as recommended by the State of New Jersey DCA:
a. Facilitates proper staffing; and,
b. Permits necessary seasonal supervision;
2. Appointment of projected 85 total Special Law Enforcement Officers for 2012 summer season:
a. Permits consistent and enhanced SNAP implementation; and,
b. Facilitates proper staffing.
3. Returning Municipal Court to Point Pleasant Beach:
a. Permits proper staffing of personnel;
b. Facilitates quality investigative services;
c. Facilitates higher quality usage of personnel; and,
d. Results in substantial monetary savings.
4. $60,000.00 appropriation in 2011 for police Special Law Enforcement Officer Candidates who will start training in 2011 and will graduate and begin employ in 2012.
5. Approval of capital bond items for necessary equipment.

NON-POLICE RELATED TOPICS:
1. Community-wide partnership involving government, residents and the business community to increase better communication, sharing of mutual goals and an increased sense of community ownership.
2. Retaining a public relations consultant to assist the municipality in compiling a tourism master plan and drawing families back to the community.
3. Creation of a viable Code Enforcement Task Force.
4. Animal House Ordinance enhancement, enforcement and prosecution.
5. Revamping of taxi ordinance and creation and enforcement of public taxi stand areas at different locations (11PM-3AM) to disperse crowds once liquor establishments have closed:
a. Different locations are required to reduce the size of congregation and problems associated therewith; and,
b. Should be located on the same side of street to avoid jaywalking and other traffic hazards.
6. In-depth discussions and implementation of a strategic action plan with New Jersey Transit to deal with acts of disorderly conduct and quality of life violations by their customers.
7. Family-oriented media advertisement to the geographical areas of offenders.
8. No further expansion of liquor licensing hours or premises.
9. Regular inspections and occupancy checks of liquor establishments with enforcement of administrative liquor license laws.
10. Licensed liquor establishments:
a. Eliminate free cover charges and drink price discounting;
b. Enhanced management oversight to deny service to intoxicated patrons;
c. Banning known trouble makers from establishments;
d. Earlier last call;
i. Service as opposed to sale; and,
e. More professionally trained door staff to deter underage entry and acts of disorderly behavior.
11. Consideration for private beaches to remain open for business later in the day/evening.
12. A comprehensive and consistent parking master plan.
13. Consistent and periodic line and curb painting.
14. Adding “public defecation” to Borough Ordinance 3-21.
15. Creating an ordinance prohibiting “tailgating” and picnicking in public locations.
16. Ordinance addressing parking of buses on Ocean Avenue and in residential areas.
17. “Broken Windows Theory” – families want clean, safe environment. Enhancement to, and adequate funding for, DPW services.
The foregoing represents a theoretical analytical plan subject to further research, review and refinement taking into consideration all real-time public and private factors associated with the problem presented.


Published July20, 2011 | Announcements | 1229


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