The Jersey City Police Department and the municipal prosecutor’s office has opened a tip line to report incidents of animal cruelty, officials said.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Any violence on animals is deplorable and it is important to do all we can to help these defenseless animals and stop such abuse,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“This tip line will provide a safe, anonymous service for people to use under circumstances where they may not otherwise feel comfortable alerting the cops out of fear the aggressor could turn on them.”
JCPD Deputy Chief Nick Flora explored the idea of establishing a tip line to report animal-related crimes after 20-plus years of service. Research has proven there are direct correlations between animal abuse and domestic violence.
“Under this administration, the Jersey City Police Department has worked to be more strategic in our efforts to combat all crime, from the worst violent offenders to those who commit acts of violence on helpless animals,” he added.
“By training our officers and providing a tip line for reporting suspected crimes, we can better enforce the law and simultaneously help keep the animals safe.”
Currently, 38 JCPD officers have been certified as Municipal Humane Law Enforcement Officers (MHLEO), with 20 additional JCPD supervisors starting the specialized training next month.
“Unfortunately, animals suffering from abuse are voiceless. That’s why we are asking everyone to lend their voice by speaking up and reporting suspected animal abuse,” explained Chief Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut.
“Our trained law enforcement officials can then investigate, determine the facts, and decide if further action needs to be taken to prevent serious injury or death.”
Jersey City’s MHLEO certification training covers a wide range of content regarding animal-involved criminality, ranging from animal hoarding and dog fighting to identifying and investigating suspected abuse and rendering first aid to pets.
Animal cruelty crimes can be reported by calling the tip line at 201-547-4999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There is a close connection between protecting public health in our community and the health of our animals,” Department of Health and Human Services Director Stacey Flanagan.
“Animals that are abandoned or not properly cared for can lead to serious medical issues such as bacterial diseases, infections, poor air and environmental conditions, and the like. This not only poses a danger to the animal, but it also puts its surroundings at risk.”