RED BANK: CRIME RATE DROPPED IN 2019

red bank darren mcconnellFor the sixth straight year, no Red Bank police officer was found to have used unwarranted force in 2019, said Chief Darren McConnell. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank policeRed Bank’s crime rate saw a sharp drop in 2019, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

In addition, incidents in which officers used some degree of force in dealing with the public were at an “all-time low,” and none were found unwarranted, he said.

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RED BANK: CHIEF ADDRESSES USE OF FORCE

red bank nj policeRed Bank’s police chief hasn’t seen a single case of unwarranted force during an arrest in five years, he tells redbankgreen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s police chief says he reviews every report of force used by members of his department during arrests, and hasn’t found any in the past five years that appear improper.

Chief Darren McConnell’s observation followed the release by NJ Advance Media last week of data on every arrest in which police used force in New Jersey over four years.

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LITTLE SILVER: K9 UNIT OK’D, BUT NOT A FUND

Councilman Donald Galante, with borough Attorney Meghan Clark, at the workshop session of the council Monday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Little Silver will establish a canine unit with a bomb-sniffing dog, thanks to Mayor Bob Neff‘s first-ever tiebreaker vote Monday night.

But a companion measure to create a fund to accept donations for the operation was pulled before a formal vote over concerns that it didn’t pass “pass the smell test,” in the words of Councilman Dane Mihlon.

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RED BANK: CABS, KIDS, COPS & DOGS

rb k9 031115 2Mayor Pasquale Menna offers an official welcome to the RBPD K9 unit of Hunter, a 21-month-old Belgian Malinois, and his handler, Patrolman Stan Balmer. Below, an image used in a presentation on the Bellhaven spray park last August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb spray park 081314Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the Red Bank council included attention to taxicabs, a controversial proposal for Bellhaven Natural Area, lifesaving cops and a four-legged borough employee.

Details just around the corner…

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RED BANK: NEWEST COP LEARNING THE BEAT

rb k9 020415 1 Looking a little sleepy at the end of his first day on the job, Hunter relaxes with his handler, Patrolman Stan Balmer. Below, the pair with the new vehicle that will be assigned to them once it’s rigged up. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb k9 020415 2The newest member of the Red Bank police department got a tour of the town Wednesday, acquainting himself with the streets and train station. At day’s end, a bit sleepy-eyed, he took a leak behind the police station.

His name is Hunter, he’s 20 months old, and he’s the first official police dog in the borough’s history.

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RED BANK: MATTRESS MAVEN PICKS UP K9 TAB

michael fux 2 081211Michael Fux, above on Broad Street  in 2011. His donation cleared the way for the addition of Rugger, an 11-month-old German shepherd, to the RBPD. (Rugger photo courtesy of RBPD. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb k9 rugger 092414 3The Red Bank police department has a new, four-legged member, thanks to mattress millionaire Michael Fux.

A fundraising drive launched earlier this month to create a new K9 unit came to an abrupt end Wednesday night when the town council accepted a $38,000 donation from Fux (pronounced ‘fyooks’) and his wife, Gloria Rubin, to cover nearly the entire cost of a police dog, a specially equipped vehicle to transport it and training for the dog and his handler.

The dog has already been acquired. He’s an 11-month-old male German shepherd named Rugger by his new master, Patrolman Stan Balmer. The two are off to 16 weeks of K9 school in Long Branch starting Monday.

“We’re already bonding,” said Balmer, a former rugby player, or “rugger,” as he showed off cellphone photos of his new partner.

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RED BANK: PD HOPES TO ADD K9 TO ROSTER

k9 A member of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s K-9 unit, called in to help find a burglary suspect on Windward Way in Red Bank two years ago. Patrolman Stan Balmer, below, has offered to train with and host a dog. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

balmer 112211Over the two decades he’s been with the Red Bank Police Department, now-Chief Darren McConnell has wanted a dog. Not a pet, but a K-9, trained to sniff out drugs, suspects and missing persons.

For one reason or another, though, none of his predecessors got around to securing one.

Now, at the urging of one of his patrolmen, McConnell’s department is attempting to leash a four-legged sniffer, and do it without putting the cost on taxpayers.

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