Friday, May 17, 2013
Borough has received a $4,000 grant to enforce seatbelt violations between May 20-June 2.
Fort Lee police will be aggressively enforcing seatbelt violations over the next few weeks as part of the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign. According to the National Division of Highway Safety, Fort Lee was one of 17 Bergen municipalities to receive a $4,000 grant towards enforcement. "Click It or Ticket" mobilization will run from May 20 through June 2. Deputy Chief Timothy Ford will oversee the campaign. "There will be numerous details conducted throughout town between May 20th and June 2nd," Fort Lee Police Chief Keith Bendul said. "An unbuckled driver can easily lose control of a vehicle, and an unbuckled occupant can be thrown from the car during a collision. It has be said the wearing a seatbelt can reduce the chances of being …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Event scheduled for May 30.
Fort Lee Police Chief Keith M. Bendul will be the guest speaker at a United Homeowners of Fort Lee meeting on Thursday, May 30. The event, free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Fort Lee Senior Center on 319 Main Street. Bendul, who became police chief in January following the retirement of Thomas Rispoli, will hold a Q&A session. The new chief, a 24-year veteran of the force, will likely field questions on school, traffic, and pedestrian safety issues. Attendees do not have to be Fort Lee United Homeowners members.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
One Fort Lee resident and four from New York are charged with packaging for distribution over $250,000 in heroin.
A suspicious car spotted on Hudson Terrace late Wednesday night led police to an apartment above, where they arrested five men for allegedly packaging over $250,000 of heroin for sale. Around 12:49 a.m. Thursday morning, according to police, Fort Lee K-9 Officer Rick Hernandez saw a car with a Pennsylvania registration turn onto Hudson Terrace from Myrtle Ave, driving on the wrong side of the road with a flat tire. Hernandez pulled up to the car to check on the driver, Jose Rivas, of New York, and police say he called for backup when Rivas repeatedly changed his story about what he had been doing that night. Officer Carlos Cabrera and Detective Thomas Porto arrived and were able to determine that Rivas had come from an apartment at 2365 …
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Chief Thomas Ripoli and Captain Roy Bortolus were sent off with a ceremony in front of the department.
The police department honored the service of two retirees, Chief Thomas Ripoli and Captain Roy Bortolus, with a ceremony in front of the department Wednesday morning. “Being a police officer is not like most other jobs,” Chief Keith Bendul told friends, family, and colleagues of the two retirees. “It’s not something you do; it’s something you become.” Ripoli, who turned leadership of the department over to Bendul at the beginning of this year, joined the force in 1971 and served eight and a half years as chief. During his time with the department, he was recognized by the state’s Merit System Board five times for valor and three times for life saving. The former chief is also a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy. Bortolas worked his …
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Fort Lee Police Department hits the streets to raise awareness on pedestrian safety.
Police Chief Keith Bendul wants to get to "zero" struck pedestrians in Fort Lee. In order to help the borough reach that goal the Fort Lee Police Department, with the full support of the Mayor and Council, have launched the “Be Seen, Be Safe” Pedestrian Safety Campaign. Mayor Mark Sokolich joined Bendul early Thursday morning to initiate the program on Palisade Avenue and Horizon Road. Together they and police officer Anthony Kim handed out safety information, car ice scrapers, florescent umbrellas, clip on reflectors and more to drivers and pedestrians. Confiscated drug funds were used to purchase these items. According to Bendul, in the first two months of 2013 there have been 12 struck pedestrians including one fatality. In March of …
Friday, February 22, 2013
After 67 years, the last of the old guard Main Street merchants will soon be closed for good.
Throughout the years, Main Street has undergone many changes, but arguably, none as radical as this. On March 7, brothers Terry and Bruce Holtje will close their door one final time--the last of the familiar mom-and-pop stores to vacate the western boundary of lower Main Street. Holtje's was the last of the neighborhood places where people could stop in just to catch up on what's going on in town. The last of the neighborhood places where pictures of local legends hang prominently behind the counter. The last of the neighborhood places where the owners knew both your father and mother, and in many cases--even your grandparents. "I told my wife, after 60 years of working in this store, I'm taking the next two months off," Terry Holtje said…
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Fort Lee Police Officer Brett Howard delivers a baby boy on Main Street.
Patrolman Brett Howard was on a routine traffic detail at Main and William when he heard the sounds of a woman screaming on Friday. At 12:46 p.m. on Feb. 15, Howard responded to the cries of Ekaterina Ortiz in the courtyard of 431 Main Street, arriving to find her in active labor. Requesting an ambulance, Howard and Ortiz's husband, Jeffrey, assisted Ortiz into the house where she gave birth to an 8 lb., 4 oz. baby boy--Nicholas. Also responding to the scene were officers Kevin Kosuda, Chris Richter and the Fort Lee Ambulance Corps. The healthy baby boy was transported with his mother by abmulance to Englewood Hospital. Howard is a decorated 14-year police veteran who transferred to the Fort Lee Police Department from the North Bergen …
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The ACLU says that many local police don't know the rules for residents to file complaints against officers, but Fort Lee does.
The system for citizens to file complaints against police "is riddled with problems," according to a report on WNYC.org. State law protects residents who make complaints over police behavior and allows for complaints to be made anonymously. New Jersey Public Radio and the ACLU found that many local police officers apparently do not know the rules for residents to file complaints, according to the report. The ACLU called 497 police departments in New Jersey and asked officers questions about filing complaints. More than half the departments answered at least one question incorrectly, according to the report. 51 departments did not get a single question right. A list of departments whose officers answered everything correctly is available …
Sunday, January 13, 2013
A Fort Lee man died in the hospital Saturday night about four-and-a-half hours after getting hit by a car while he was trying to cross Anderson Avenue between Jane Street and Catherine Street, according to authorities.
A 65-year-old Fort Lee man died Saturday night after getting hit by a car on Anderson Avenue, police said. At about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, police received calls saying a pedestrian had been struck near the exit of the Church of the Madonna. Officers from the Fort Lee Police Department’s Patrol Division and Detective Bureau responded, conducting an on-scene investigation, which concluded that Gerard A. Deangelis was hit by a 1999 Toyota Corolla while attempting to cross Anderson between Jane and Catherine Streets, police said. Paramedics treated the victim at the scene, and the Fort Lee Ambulance Corps transported him to Hackensack University Medical Center with what police described as life-threatening injuries. But Deangelis died at the …
Friday, January 11, 2013
Police Officer Antonio Hernandez now alleges “retaliatory harassment” after filing a discrimination suit in federal court against the Fort Lee Police Department years ago, report says.