BY Steven Maginnis | Tuesday, May 03, 2016 9:00am
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The Bloomfield Township Council held its May 2 conference meeting in the chambers room in anticipation of receiving a large amount of residents to offer public comment on either side of the rent control ordinance scheduled for a vote. The ordinance allows a landlord, at the expiration or termination of a lease, to request or receive an increase in up to three percent a year over and above the rent previously charged, or the percentage difference between the consumer price index three months before the lease is ended, and but not to exceed five percent. Several residents appeared, ready with protest signs, to urge mayor Michael Venezia and the council to pass it. The resident’s concerns were unfounded – it passed on first reading, 6-0, with First Ward Councilman Elias Chalet absent.
The Bloomfield Township Council
BY Announcement | Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 11:00am
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The Bloomfield Police Department will take part in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30, to provide a venue for people to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.
This program is anonymous and all efforts will be made to protect the anonymity of individuals disposing of medications. No questions or requests for identification will be made. Individuals will be allowed to deposit medication freely and independently.
Individuals may dispose of medication either in its original container or by removing medication from its container and disposing directly into the drug disposal box at Bloomfield Police Department, Front Desk, 1 Municipal Plaza.
BY Baristanet Staff | Friday, Apr 22, 2016 11:30am
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After Seton Hall Law School Center for Policy & Research created a VICE documentary film based on its report that concludes racial profiling and targeting of non-residents is occurring at traffic stops in Bloomfield, community leaders have been discussing the findings.
The Bloomfield Police Department — which has begun collecting data on the race of drivers in traffic stops as of January 2016 — rejects the report’s findings. They released a statement taking issue with elements of the report. Police Director Samuel DeMaio has denied his department racially profiles. “Basic police personnel deployment requires us to deploy our resources accordingly, meaning 75 to 80 percent of our manpower is dedicated to this area [the southern part of the township]. To do otherwise would be irresponsible,” DeMaio said in a statement. “Naturally, greater deployment of Officers to the area means a greater number of summonses issued there.”
Democrat Councilman Joseph Lopez, who is currently running for Mayor against incumbent Mayor Michael Venezia, called a meeting at Carteret School in Bloomfield last week to “foster and open and honest discussion and re-establish trust between the police and minority communities.” reports PolitickerNJ.com. Also in attendance was Senator Ronald Rice (D-28).
BY Baristanet Staff | Monday, Apr 18, 2016 1:19pm
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Bloomfield Police are searching for a man accused of attempting to lure a group of children on Sunday evening in Bloomfield, reports ABC7NY.com.
According to the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, a man on foot who said he was a police officer approached a group of children, three 12-year-olds and two 11-year-olds, at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Bloomfield. He was in civilian clothing, not a uniform.
Investigators canvassed the area and will be trying to put together a sketch of the suspect.
BY Baristanet Staff | Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 8:47am
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UPDATE: Mayor Venezia says Bloomfield Fire Head Quarters (corner Franklin and Montgomery) is accepting donations and starting tomorrow (Monday) and this week, there will be boxes in the Mayor’s office and Civic Center to donate items for the families.
A massive four-alarm fire at 44 Charles Street in Bloomfield last night has displaced six families. The blaze, which started around 6 p.m. Saturday, filled the sky with black smoke visible from the Garden State Parkway.
CBS reports that a good Samaritan, Roy Campbell, ran into the burning building when he noticed the roof beginning to collapse, to help get people out. The fire may have started on the second floor of a vacant apartment. By 9 p.m., the fire was under control.
GoFundMe pages was started for the Cruz family and the Ramirez family. Continue Reading
BY Baristanet Staff | Monday, Apr 11, 2016 2:38pm
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Update 4/12 at 11:45 am: Bloomfield Mayor, Michael Venezia posted the following message on the film on his Facebook page:
You may have seen a story in the paper or online about a report alleging racial profiling by Bloomfield Police, and I think it’s important for you to hear directly from me as your Mayor about these allegations. First, let me say that the men and women of the Bloomfield Police Department work extremely hard every day and do an outstanding job of keeping our community safe. When I became Mayor we instituted new procedures, reforms and technologies that have contributed to a 28% overall reduction in crime — a statistic we can all be very proud of — as well as measures designed to enhance community policing and build trust between officers and residents of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.
We are disappointed in the study for a few reasons: we believe the methodology behind it is incomplete, and we did not have the opportunity to work with the authors to provide data and information that could have helped it be a more accurate reflection of the department. However, given the painful history of racially charged incidents between police and people of color both in New Jersey and across the country, our entire team is very sensitive to the issues raised by the study and we will be looking into best practices and potential reforms to ensure that our police officers are treating everyone fairly while still continuing to do an incredible job keeping Bloomfield safe.
Over the past few years Bloomfield has become a progressive leader among New Jersey municipalities in several ways — we were one of the first to pass an Earned Sick Days ordinance, we increased our minimum wage for municipal workers to $15/hour and we have balanced the need for new developments with open space and environmentally-friendly planning. Our police department is no different, as we have installed dashboard cameras on all of our police vehicles and we are in the process of implementing body cameras for our officers. Our police department is only the second in New Jersey to implement a system of tracking race in all police interactions and using the data to inform policy and public safety strategy. Thanks to this, we have a tremendous amount of information to work with to help us determine if there is a problem, and if so what the steps are to fix it.
We would welcome the authors of the study to meet with members of our local government, police department and our African American and Hispanic communities to discuss their findings and look for common ground and opportunities to keep improving and will be reaching out via letter to Seton Hall and the ACLU to attend a meeting and discuss these issues. Thank you for taking the time to read this — if you would like to help spread the word, please share this with your friends.
Vice News is airing a documentary report conducted by Seton Hall Law students that concludes racial profiling and targeting of non-residents is occurring at traffic stops in Bloomfield. The film is based on a new report from Seton Hall Law’s Center for Policy & Research. The study entailed hundreds of observations of court appearances for traffic offenses and a small number of other minor offenses in Bloomfield Municipal Court, conducted by a team of trained Seton Hall Law School students for 70 hours over the course of a month.
In the trailer, Bloomfield Police Director Samuel DeMaio says the department does not engage in racial profiling.
BY Baristanet Staff | Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 10:00am
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According to JoAnn Bruno of the Bloomfield Municipal Clerk’s Office, the following petitions were filed yesterday for the June 7 Primary Election. They include two lines of Democrats plus one other Democrat running separately for council (Steve DeMarzo) and one slate of Republicans:
- Michael Venezia – Mayor – Democrat
- Joseph Lopez – Mayor – Democrat
- David G. Tucker – Mayor – Republican
BY Announcement | Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 7:49am
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Emmet Jones, 37, of Bloomfield has been arrested and charged with possession of heroin and marijuana with intent to distribute and possession with 1,000 feet of a school.
Jones was also charged with hindering apprehension, resisting arrest and conspiracy.
On March 30, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Task Force, which includes officers from Bloomfield and Newark, along with members of the FBI, arrested Jones who was wanted on an outstanding warrant on unrelated charges. When he was taken into custody a search warrant was executed at his apartment in Bloomfield where officers discovered 528 bricks of heroin packaged and ready for distribution, more than 70 pounds of marijuana and a loaded assault rifle.
The drugs confiscated during the execution of the search warrant have an estimated street value of $650,000. Jones has been the target of an ongoing narcotics investigation centered in Newark.
The investigation is active and ongoing. No other information is available at this time.
BY Baristanet Staff | Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 1:30pm
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A man was arrested on suspicion of stealing several packages that were delivered to Bloomfield Township residents over the past several weeks, Bloomfield Police Department reports:
Michael Ramos age 31 of Newark NJ was arrested Wednesday by members of the Bloomfield Detective Bureau with the assistance of the Belleville Police Department.
The package thefts were all reported in the south end of the township occurring during the afternoon hours. The packages were delivered by US Postal and left on the front door of the residences. Video footage of the suspect was obtained from one of the locations, which led investigators in identifying Michael Ramos. Subsequently, Michael Ramos admitted to several of the reported package thefts. The total value of packages stolen were over $700.00 dollars. None of the items were recovered at this time.
Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 10:20am
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As of now, Montclair election season looks to be one of the quietest on record, while over in Bloomfield, mailers alleging corruption are causing controversy. Continue Reading