A low level civil war slash insurgency is plaguing New Jersey, and some say that there is little we can do about it. Law enforcement has all but given up:
The strategy sounds almost illogical: Detectives in New Jersey are being urged to build criminal cases with as few witnesses as possible. Or with none at all.
In cities struggling with gang-related crimes, like Trenton and Newark, detectives said that even on the infrequent occasions when they find civilian witnesses who might be willing to testify, investigators are wary about pressuring them to appear in court. That reluctance is based on a fear that the authorities might not be able to protect witnesses from retaliation.
In the New Jersey State Police gang unit, the approach is so common that detectives have made hundreds of cases during the past five years, but used civilian testimony fewer than a dozen times, investigators said.
Even Gov. Jon S. Corzine has directed police agencies in the state to use witnesses more sparingly in cases involving street gangs.
Detective Sgt. Ronald Hampton of the State Police, who has worked in the gang unit since 2002, said the testimony of civilian witnesses was considered evidence of last resort.
“It used to be that when someone gave information, the first words out of a detective’s mouth were, ‘Are you willing to testify to that?’” Detective Hampton said.
Gov. Corzine has a plan to bring peace to the Garden State once again, but not everyone thinks it will work:
Some state officials who support Mr. Corzine’s proposals said that New Jersey’s witness intimidation problem had grown so complex and severe that it would take a broader effort, from both government and community leaders, to combat it.
“The bad guys are willing to use tactics that the good guys haven’t yet figured out how to deal with,” said State Senator John H. Adler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Ivory tower law professor, and Übermensch of all Interweb tubular connections, Glenn “Chicken Little” Reynolds breathlessly intones:
It’s a quagmire, the local political system is inept, and the corruption and terror will never end. U.S. out of New Jersey now!
Well I say such defeatist rhetoric needs to stop now!
Are not New Jerseyans as deserving of peace and freedom as we Americans … er, other Americans? Yes they have funny accents, are way to cozy with corruption amongst their political ranks, and of course there is the problem of holding the State together despite the largely homogeneous southern
populous populace wishing to secede, but that does not mean that a reasonably peaceful union cannot be achieved that will serve as a model to other struggling Democracies in the region.
Others will claim that not one of the 9/11 terrorists came from New Jersey, which is true but misses the point that Jersey has become a safe haven for terrorists of all stripes who train there and then strike far from home.
But the time to act is now. If we truly want to see a stable New Jersey devoid of the rampant corruption that symbolizes it, and free of radical mafioso-ism, then we need to change gears and take the fight to the insurgents. We need someone who not only knows the area, but who has demonstrated the intellectual acuity and technical skill to counter the insurgency with a brilliant plan for a … ahh … ummm … counter-insurgency!
Therefore, I propose Gen. Petraeus be appointed Chief Law Enforcement Officer for New Jersey at once before it’s too late. If given enough resources, a “surge” some might call it, the Trenton Awakening will be just around the corner.
Remember, we have nothing to defeat but defeatism itself!
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