ON THE GREEN: MEET THE FOLKS IN BLUE

080514fhnightout9The chance to dunk-tank a local official is just part of the free, family-friendly fun as the Fair Haven Police presents its 13th annual National Night Out Against Crime community event. Police departments in Red Bank and (for the first time) Little Silver also offer the community observances on August 4.

rb-nno2It’s a coast-to-coast community initiative which, in Fair Haven’s case, can be traced back 13 years – or, in the case of Little Silver, is being offered for the very first time.

On the evening of Tuesday, August 4, the Red Bank Police and its neighbor departments on the greater Green will once again invite all members of their communities to take part in National Night Out — the nationwide outreach program designed to “promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.” Or, as familiar spokesdog McGruff puts it, to “take a bite out of crime.”

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RB, FH: A NIGHT OUT, A BITE OUT OF CRIME

Night OutA demonstration of driving with “Drunk Goggles” is part of the programming in Red Bank, as police departments in two local boroughs invite kids to take part in the National Night Out initiative.

From press materials furnished by Red Bank Police Dept., Fair Haven Police Dept. and Sen. Jennifer Beck

There’s an Inflatable Dalmatian Bounce House. A gaming tent, face painting, cookout favorites, prize giveaways — and even a chance to Dunk Tank a local official. It’s not the Street Festival, Block Party or Fireman’s Fair, but an altogether different kind of event that makes itself at home in the community each summer — the annual Night Out in Fair Haven and Red Bank.

Presented by the Police Departments in both local boroughs on Tuesday, August 5, the 12th annual event is once again part of a National Night Out community outreach program, in which law enforcement personnel from coast to coast invite the youngest members of their communities to learn about safety and police work in a friendly and fun setting.

Introduced in 1984, the Night Out initiative is designed to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie, and the sending of “a message to criminals, letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.”

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FAIR HAVEN POLICE BLOTTER

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

fhpd-badgeReports from the Fair Haven Police Department for the month of July appear unedited below.

7/2/11

-Brenda S. Thomson, 50, of Rumson was arrested and charged with D.W.I. by Ptl. Hostrup.

7/3/11

-Todd R. Gundersen, 32, of Middletown, NJ was arrested and charged with possession of C.D.S. (Heroin) and possession of a hypodermic needle by Det. Dykstra. Mr. Gundersen was also held on outstanding warrants for contempt of court.

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A NIGHT OUT FOR RED BANK, FAIR HAVEN

natl-night-out-20101Scenes from the 2010 National Night Out in Red Bank. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

4858647381_f526d98d6b_m1

It’s one night of the year where the badge and blue shirt come to represent something a little less  fear-inducing, when the local fuzz trades in authority to bond with those it protects over burgers and dogs.

National Night Out, the community outreach program that spans police departments coast-to-coast, gets going in select towns on The Green Tuesday night, a fitting lead into the lazy days of summer’s end when many families are preparing for another school year.

“It’s good to get everyone out. It shows the kids they don’t have to be afraid to interact with the police,” said Stephen Schneider, a patrolman in Fair Haven. “We’re not just out there writing tickets and telling them to put their helmets on. We’re there for everybody.”

Besides, who can resist a sanctioned chance to dunk a cop with a fastball?

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POLICE SCANNER ALERT BACKFIRES ON TEEN

call-in-the-authoritiesBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In a roundup of police activity in Fair Haven, authorities report a case of vandalism, not-so-crafty teens trying to avoid capture by carrying a police scanner and a car fire last week.

Fair Haven’s cop blotter for the month of June appears unedited below.

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FAIR HAVEN SIGN WHACKED… AGAIN

fh-sign-missingVandals have apparently hit the Welcome to Fair Haven again. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Just a couple months after it was replaced, Fair Haven’s welcome sign on River Road was again a target of vandalism.

This time, though, somebody ripped the whole thing off its tall white stanchions, leaving bent metal and a hard-to-miss hole where the borough’s seal, the steamship Albertina, had stood as the official greeter to the borough.

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COPS: PAIR FOUND WITH WEAPONS, HEROIN

fhpd-carFair Haven police arrested a man with a dagger, stun gun and heroin Sunday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A routine traffic stop early Sunday morning led to the arrest of a man with a dagger, stun gun and heroin in Fair Haven, police said.

Police also brought other charges against Bruce Thompson II, of Red Bank, and his passenger, Todd Gunderson, of Middletown.

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FIREWORKS PREVIEW: RUMSON

rumson-fireworks-signRumson’s fireworks will take place same time as Red Bank’s on July 3. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

While hundreds of thousands rub elbows to get a view of the Independence Day fireworks in Red Bank Sunday, just a few miles east, there’ll be a more subdued, but pyrotechnically identical, affair going on in Rumson.

For the fourth straight year, the borough will host Rumson’s Fireworks on the Navesink, a duplication of Red Bank’s Kaboom! Fireworks on the Navesink that draws between 12,000 and 14,000 visitors along the eastern banks of the Navesink River.

The borough has put out information to all businesses and residents in advance of the show, warning of parking and traffic expectations, and where to catch the action.

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911 DISPATCH STILL AN ISSUE IN FAIR HAVEN

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s been close to two years since Fair Haven jobbed out its emergency dispatching services to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s 911 Communication Center, and so far, not so good. Still.

“We’re no more satisfied than we were last year,” said former fire chief Jim Cerruti.

Councilman Rowland Wilhelm said Monday that it comes down to clarity of the calls and delays in the calls being relayed to fire and first aiders.

Wilhelm, along with police and fire representatives, is scheduled to meet with county officials today (Thursday) “to try and allay these issues or straighten them out the best we can.”

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FAIR HAVEN ADDS TO CAR BURGLARY CHARGES

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A Farmingdale man already facing charges for thefts from cars in Rumson and Tinton Falls is also responsible for 40 car break-ins in Fair Haven, police said.

“It is our guy,” Chief Darryl Breckenridge said.

Rodney Tyler, 19, was charged by Fair Haven police with theft and 40 counts of burglary on Friday, Detective Jesse Dykstra said.

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BREAK-IN SUSPECT CHARGED IN TWO TOWNS

tf-cruiserTinton Falls and Rumson police charged a man in car break-ins that occurred over months. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Tinton Falls and Rumson police have brought close to 75 charges against a Farmingdale teenager for his alleged role in car break-ins that occurred over the course of four months in each town.

Charges from surrounding towns and others in eastern Monmouth County may soon follow, officials said Monday.

The departments made the charges following the arrest of Rodney Tyler, 19, in Wall last Friday.

“It was a good catch for us,” Lieutenant David Scrivanic, of Tinton Falls police, said.

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COPS MUM ON LITTLE SILVER CRIME SCENE

greenfield-ctPolice from Little Silver and Fair Haven established a crime scene at a Greenfield Court home Saturday morning. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

[UPDATE: The Monmouth County Prosecutor is treating the incident reported on below as a suicide, officials said.]

Police are conducting a crime investigation at a home in an upscale community in Little Silver.

Police would not offer any details on why they are at the home, at 84 Greenfield Court in the Alderbrook condominium and townhouse complex off Harding Road. An officer who had just cordoned off the home’s yard with yellow police tape said only that it was an active crime scene.

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SPOT-HOGGING AN ISSUE IN FAIR HAVEN

fh-parkingBusinesses say owners and employees are going over the two-hour parking limit on River and Fair Haven roads, taking precious spots away from shoppers. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

park_it_021Fair Haven’s police department is reluctant to go on a ticketing blitz downtown. But if business owners and employees keep camping at prime parking spaces, that’ll be the next course of action.

“It’s become an issue,” said Michele Berger, president of the borough’s business association, which has received complaints the last three months about owners and employees parking on River and Fair Haven roads all day. “People are asking: what are we going to do about it?”

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THE WEEK IN REARVIEW

11-wreathA wreath was placed at Piping Rock Park in Rumson, where a plaque honors borough residents who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It was a week that started fraught with emotion, as news broke in a national address by President Obama late Sunday night that a commando team had wiped the face of evil in the Western world, Osama bin Laden, off the earth.

For those around The Green, it was a bittersweet measure of justice, as scores of residents in our area lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks masterminded by bin Laden.

It hit particularly close to Middletown, which lost 37 people in the attacks. We were out Monday morning talking to those who paid their respects at Middletown’s serene 9/11 memorial garden, near the train station.

And the week went on from there.

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CABINET CLEAN-OUT SLATED FOR SATURDAY

old-rxLet’s see… almost three years old? Yeah, time to go. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As you break out the feather duster and crack into the clutter in the attic for your spring cleaning routine, police are reminding residents not to forget about the medicine cabinet.

This weekend, local departments are participating in Operation Take Back, a national effort to collect unused and expired medications from households.

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CAR BREAK-INS REPORTED ALL OVER

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A rash of car break-ins in Fair Haven has spread to neighboring towns, local departments said Monday.

In addition to break-ins reported in Red Bank and Fair Haven, Rumson, Shrewsbury and Little Silver have reported unlocked vehicles entered over the last few days, and police are putting residents on high alert.

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THE WEEK IN REARVIEW

sb-beach-plowPlowing the sand mounds in Sea Bright. Can summer be far behind? (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Welcome back to another week at redbankgreen. Here’s a glance back at the stories that filled our cyberpages last week.

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FAIR HAVEN BREAK-IN SPREE HITS 30 CARS

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Thirty vehicles were broken into on the west side of Fair Haven Monday morning, police said.

Loose change, personal credentials, jewelry and credit cards were taken in the thefts, which occurred in the morning and throughout Monday, Detective Jesse Dykstra said.

All of the vehicles were unlocked, he said.

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BONUS FOR CHIEF, TRASH JOBBED OUT

darryl-breckenridge-010108By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge got his annual attaboy from the borough council last night in the form of a $3,000 bonus.

This is not unusual in Fair Haven. Employees do well, they get compensated, Mayor Mike Halfacre said.

And even though Breckenridge is part of the police department, he is not a member of a union, making him eligible for a performance-based bonus, like all other non-union workers, Halfacre said.

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TWO ARRESTED IN SCRAP METAL THEFT

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Little Silver police arrested two men early Thursday morning on charges of stealing scrap metal from Little Silver and Fair Haven businesses, police said.

They were also charged with other crimes after a joint investigation by the departments.

Paul Kirkstad, of Little Silver, and Nicholas Deluca, of Holmdel, were arrested in the area of Branch Avenue in Little Silver, Detective Sergeant Daniel Shaffery said.

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FAIR HAVEN SENIOR SCAMMED FOR $14K

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI authorities3

A Fair Haven senior citizen was bilked out of $14,000 recently by a person pretending to be his or her grandson, police said.

Police were alerted to the scam Thursday, when a senior said that a person identifying himself as a grandson made five phone calls over three days claiming he was in need of help.

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FAIR HAVEN INVESTIGATING WALLET THEFTS

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven police are investigating two incidents in which juveniles are suspected of taking wallets from parked cars on two separate streets.

Police learned of the thefts Tuesday after they received a report of two young black men looking into a car on Gentry Drive, Detective Jesse Dykstra told redbankgreen. The juveniles fled the scene after being confronted by the vehicle’s owner.

“Once we got that one call, we knew we were in for something,” he said.

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PRE-CHRISTMAS ACCIDENT KILLED WOMAN

river-rd-accidentThe accident occurred on River Road in front of Acme. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

An Eatontown woman died after being struck by a vehicle on River Road in Fair Haven almost two weeks ago, authorities confirmed.

No charges have been filed against the driver, Mohsen Sarraf, of Rumson, who hit 52-year-old Keri Lee on December 20, Assistant Prosecutor Peter Warshaw said.

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WELCOME TO _____ HAVEN

fh-welcomeFair Haven police suspect vandalism is the cause of its cracked sign. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A welcome-to-Fair Haven sign on River Road was smashed in half last weekend in what Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge says was an act of vandalism.

The remains of the sign, which features the borough’s seal depicting the steamship Albertina, were removed Wednesday. A police report was filed with the department, but there are no suspects just yet, he said.

“It looks like somebody took an object and beat it up,” Breckenridge said. “Hopefully we can catch them and make them pay to fix it, or we’ll have to replace it real soon.”

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