HomeHaddonfield NewsPolice chief addresses safety concerns after home burglaries

Police chief addresses safety concerns after home burglaries

Police also gave updates on new headquarter building

Emily Liu/The Sun
Police Chief Jason Cutler showcases the rendered images of the new police headquarters at the old Bank of America at the recent commissioners meeting.

Haddonfield Police Chief Jason Cutler addressed public safety in a crowded room at the commissioners’ meeting on May 28, a response to four residential burglaries in April.

Although residents had asked for the release of more information about the crimes, Cutler said that the victims’ privacy and the integrity of the investigations precluded that.

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“If you were victimized, if somebody broke into your home at night and you were victimized, some people don’t want to announce it,” he explained. “Some people do. Some people think it’s better to let everybody know so they can protect themselves.”

As for the integrity of the investigations, Cutler said one reason why it’s important to limit information is because police are aware that the suspects also watch the news and in response, could potentially destroy evidence compiled by police.

One of the four residential crimes was connected with seven commercial burglaries in April, for which a suspect was arrested and remanded to the Atlantic County jail in Mays Landing, police said. Of the three remaining residential burglaries, two occurred while residents were home, one at 4 or 5 a.m. and one at around 9 or 10 p.m., with the resident at home.

State police did share with residents that in two of the break-ins, investigators believe the suspects are from North Jersey and potentially part of a high-end car theft ring operating throughout the state.

“We are part of a multi-agency task force,” Cutler pointed out. “So the lead agency sometimes doesn’t want information out, and we have to abide by that.”

In other police news, Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich and Cutler showed renderings of a new police headquarters. But due to the specific items needed for the department – such as cells and sally ports, the secure, controlled entryways to an enclosure – Cutler said it was cheaper to build an addition to the current building than to retrofit the existing one.

In addition to expanded police functions available with a different building, the mayor said the borough wants to create a community space that can hold special events and ceremonies and also be a place for people to gather.

“We’re trying to create a public-facing safe space for some of our teens and tweens who are often on those bicycles looking for things to do,” she noted. “This is a great way for our police to meet with them and to bring things into the community and interact with them too.”

In other news:

  • The commissioners proclaimed June 7 Gun Violence Awareness Day, and for the first time, proclaimed June to be Pride Month. June is also Pride Month nationally.
  • A number of residents protested the noise made by pickleball players at the Haddon Field Club.


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