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Fort Lee Police Chief Urges Patience At the Pump, Public ‘Cooperation’

Although borough officials and the Fort Lee Police Department have asked people to stay home, many are out trying to find a place and waiting in long lines to gas up their cars or fill their gas cans, as extra police patrols try to maintain order.

With power still out in much of North Jersey and dwindling fuel supplies causing a mad dash to the gas stations that remain open, people are waiting hours in their cars or with empty gas cans for their turn to fill up in the aftermath of Sandy.

In Fort Lee, where Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli said “four or five” service stations are open, the situation is no different.

“We’re trying to tell people to stay home, but they’re all looking for gas,” Ripoli said. “And only a certain amount of gas stations are open. They have to just obey the officers at the gas station.”

Ripoli said Fort Lee police are out in full force trying to maintain order at gas stations and elsewhere, and he asked Fort Lee residents for their cooperation and urged patience.

“We have extra patrols on everywhere,” Ripoli said. “All detectives are in uniform, and we have everybody out there. Be patient, and everybody’s got to work together and cooperate. Listen to the officers’ directions. I have everybody on 16-hour shifts. We’re doing our best”

As Fort Lee resident and Patch blogger Paul Umrichin pointed out, the local police have installed traffic signs at some intersections in town that say, “Major Road Closures,” and then, “Go Home.” But Ripoli said that’s “just not happening.”

“So they’re going to have to deal with the lines; they’re going to have to deal with the aggravation,” he said, adding, “And stay home if possible.”

John Doe November 02, 2012 at 02:05 AM
If power isn't back soon, there's going to be riots. People are more frustrated by the day. It could get serious fast.
Tim November 02, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Many states have dispatched their repair electrician crews. Christie says that the repair times will increase and we will see results.
Roe Boc November 02, 2012 at 07:03 AM
Life is difficult sometimes. Instead of acting like five year olds with temper tantrums show some kindness, patience and maturity...
Art Elmers November 02, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Why are Non-Union power crews from southern states being turned away? We need all the help we can get.
Howard L. Pearl November 02, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Sometimes, the simplest solution is not the best. If everyone stayed home, it would certainly make the job of our police force much easier. But that is not the goal of the average family. They need food and supplies to survive the crisis, and last time I looked, stores were not offering free deliveries. Another issue is that families may have to check on elderly relatives living in the area to assist them through this nightmare. Realistically, people are not going to stay home or obey curfews in this chaotic atmosphere. Chief Ripoli is correct in trying to limit the problem, but it is not an acceptable edict for many residents of our community.

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