BARNEGAT, NJ – No doubt the fact that Barnegat Police responded to over 1700 calls last month could raise some alarm for local residents. However, the nature of the calls offers some reassurance.

Residents call for police assistance related to their individual needs. It is not unusual for someone to require aid because they have pain issues. Meanwhile, some frustrated parents ask the police for help when their children are refusing to go to their rooms.

These types of incidents represent only a portion of the requests for police service. Barnegat Police also fled to the scene of multiple motor vehicle crashes within the Township.

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At the July Township Committee Meeting, Deputy Mayor John J. Novak reminded residents of his feelings about the Barnegat Police Department. In particular, he singled out the Crime Reduction Unit.

“I’ve said over and over again,” shared Novak. “Come to Barnegat with criminal intention. Come to Barnegat to commit a crime. You’re going to meet our crew.”

Novak continued, “You’re going to get arrested. You’re going to get prosecuted.”

Police response resulted in twelve apprehensions in June, including arrests for possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute.

Impersonation of a Police Officer Resulted in an Arrest

However, an incident on June 5th merited special attention that resulted in an arrest. After a woman called for assistance to report that a Ford pickup truck attempted to pull her over, Barnegat police officers responded to the scene.

The caller told dispatchers that she was stopped at a local marina and an individual was just looking at her from his vehicle. She had questions about the pickup operator who had activated blue strobes lights and also beeped his horn at her.

According to authorities, the victim pulled over after the driver followed her and attempted to stop her for approximately two miles. Upon reporting to the marina, Barnegat Police apprehended the accused and charged him with impersonating a police officer.

Barnegat Police Chief Keith Germain provided his recommendations in similar situations. “If someone is unsure the person attempting to pull them over is a police officer, the first step is to activate hazard lights (to indicate that they see the vehicle and intend to stop) and drive safely to a well-lit public area.”

“If nearby, concerned parties should drive to the police station, “continued Germain. “If those options are unavailable or impractical, they can always call 911 and report the situation, so that dispatchers can verify if it's a real police officer conducting the stop. “

Drivers who elect to stop should practice basic safety. “They should keep their doors locked, and the window lowered just enough to communicate and request to see identification,” said the Barnegat Police Chief.

Stephanie A. Faughnan is a local journalist and Director of Writefully Inspired, a professional writing and resume service. Feel free to contact her at sfaughnan@tapinto.net.