The Blue Reality Hezitorial: The Yonkers Police Division Continued Apply Focusing on and Defaming Yonkers Police By HEZI ARIS – Yonkers Tribune.

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Political Hacks and Yonkers Police Benevolent Association (YPBA) officials are only responding to Yonkers' power structure

How many more cops will be attacked next?

Did Westchester District Attorney Miriam E. Rocca drop the ball by putting the Yonkers Police Department internal affairs officer on hold – Detective Captain Justin R. Barbato?

This story is about Rocco R. Merante

Bronxville Tribune / Yonkers Tribune / Mount Vernon Tribune / Westchester Tribune Publisher / Publisher and Westchester from WHYT Radio on the plane host Hezi Aris.

The blue truth

YONKERS, NY – February 18, 2021 – Rocco R. Merante was hired as a Yonkers police officer in July 2005 after serving as a New York police officer for 7½ years. He retired on February 29, 2020 after more than 22 years of service. He has received numerous awards, certificates for excellence in police work, citations from units, the award of the President of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and many letters of thanks.

He married his high school sweetheart. They have been together since he was 16. You raised two children.

Rocco was never arrested. While employed by the Yonkers or in New York, he was never written to or had any disciplinary issues Police stations.

On February 26, 2020, Merante discovered his personal as well dThe property had been stolen from its locker, which had been locked and secured in the Yonkers Police Department 4th Ward. Merante had been on vacation since January 6, 2017, but had been in his locker several times, most recently around September 2019. Merrante reported the stolen items to Sgt. Collins and Capt. Hanley. Two days after the theft was discovered, Merante sat down with Sgt. Collins again.

Sgt. Collins pointed out to Merante that senior executives appeared to be puzzled by what to do or how to proceed.

Merante made numerous attempts to contact the Internal Affairs Division (IAD) of the Yonkers Police Department and the 4th District within three months. Every attempt was documented.

What Merante reported was a slump as defined according to the parameters of the New York State Penal Code. Most egregiously, the break-in took place in the 4th district of the Yonkers Police Department. As unfathomable as it may seem, no investigations and / or police reports have ever been filed or conducted.

On May 21, 2020, Merante was contacted by the Westchester District Attorney's Office of Public Integrity. Merante spoke to William Schaeffer, to whom he explained the incident, which he had suffered as a whole.

Merante was informed and instructed to fill out and return a complaint form filled out by Merante. Merante returned the complaint form on May 27, 2020 by "snail mail" via the United States Postal Service as well as by e-mail. The Westchester Country District Attorney's (WCDA) law firm confirmed receipt of the complaint form by emailing Merante June 9, 2020 that the WCDA had referred Merante's complaint back to the Internal Affairs Division (IAD) of the Yonkers Police Department .

Coincidentally, IAD Sgt. On May 28, 2020, Fraska called Merante to initiate an investigation. Interviews were never conducted on Merante's stolen property. YPD was quickly considered to be Merantes claim "unfounded" without ever conducting any kind of investigation. It took three months, first reported on February 26, 2020 … for a first report on "PCT Investigations" on May 26, 2020 to be published.

"In 22 years of police work," said Merante, "I have made thousands of arrests, written tens of thousands of subpoenas and testified in court several times." My integrity was never questioned. I have never seen or experienced a three month delay in starting an exam. "

Merante asked, "How can we expect a police agency to monitor others when they cannot monitor themselves?" In addition, Merante said, “This also shows how the Yonkers Police Department has / can tamper with their crime statistics by refusing to acknowledge a burglary / theft complaint.

Merante said, “I submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIL) request for all documents related to my locker (C / R # 20024725). On August 11, 2020, Merante received a letter from Lt. McGuinness, in which he confirmed Merante's request. In the documents mentioned in the previous sentence, interviews were conducted with the CO (Capt Hanley), XO (Lt Foley / Lt Block), the PBA trustee of Yonkers (PO Croston) and the ExPBA trustee (PO Galsinsky). The only police officer interviewed was PO Guzman. In PO Guzman's statement, he said that he had taken it upon himself to "remove the old labels and renumber the lockers". Merante emphasized, "This is a police officer who is on the Westchester County Attorney's' credibility list and unable to testify in court."

In Sgt Collins' IAD interview, Sgt Collins states that Merante "seemed unimpressed". Merante said, “This is from a supervisor who has been a Yonkers police officer for less than 5 years.

Nowhere in his original report, which lasted three months, was it ever mentioned that Merante was "unimpressed". Nobody else, like high-ranking members of the department with whom Merante interacted that day, described Merante as "unimpressed". After more than 20 police careers and the incidents that Merante witnessed and investigated such as murders, rapes, assaults, accidental deaths, 9/11, Merante said, "Little" worries me "but my property is being stolen from the inner district got me I also have all the interaction that was going on when I arrived at the station for audio recordings that day. "

The IAD interviews with regulators mentioned that there are no official systems to distribute or track assigned lockers and that numerous other people have access to locker rooms, e.g. Cleaning teams, DPW employees, outside contractors, etc. ”Still, nobody seems to have any problems with it and my complaint is determined to be“ unfounded ”. Police locker rooms are a place where personal and departmental property is stored. including firearms. It seems inappropriate that this problem should not be a factor.

From the beginning “there was no investigation. No Crime Scene Unit for taking photos or processing Merante's locker, the inside of which should be have only contained Merante's fingerprints since Merante had this locker for almost 10 years. "

Sgt. Collins mentions that the inside of the locker was "dusty"! Any competent investigator knows that a locker is a great environment for restoring usable fingerprint comparisons.

Sgt. Collins also wanted Merante to identify items left in the locker as Merante's own. In response to Sgt. In Collins's inquiry, Merante emphasized, "Since my lock was removed and then replaced by an unknown person, and the items that remained had no identifiable features, how could anyone uniquely identify common uniform items as theirs? if the integrity / security of the locker itself has been compromised. The "unknown" lock that was attached to Merante's locker after the original Merante lock was removed had a serial number, but no effort was made to determine where the lock came from that replaced Merante's lock. The IAD report states that Merante's “Swipecard” was not used for the duration of the reporting period, which dates back to 2015. Telestaff roll call records show Merante patrolled the 4th Pct from 2015 to 2017. Merante exclaimed: “How would it be? No record of entering the Pct, not even for that period.

"The IAD reports also focused on the same time frame, with the results appearing to be too long," Merante said. “I have filed complaints about break-ins where the time span between possible occurrence and detection had been many years, and yet crime scenes showed evidence that was being processed at the scene.

Merante said, "I should be able to lock my belongings in my locker in a police facility, and it shouldn't matter how long it is there … 3 days, … 3 months … or 3 years … … and when I come back it should still be there.

This is not the first property theft within a police station in Yonkers. It has happened before, some just choose to ignore / act with that and move on with your career. Merante states that he is aware of at least three other incidents like this one. In fact, the 3rd Pct was a current senior member of the Yonkers Police Department who was a P.O. Merante equipment personally handed over at this time from a recently retired officers locker. Then he apologized and asked Merante to return it. Little did he know that it was taken without permission and that he was told that the officer no longer wanted the equipment. Other current YPD police officers were also implicated in this incident.

On August 24, 2020, Merante filed a complaint with the Yonker inspector General Office and the NYS Inspector General's Office. On August 27, 2020, the NYS Inspector General's Office responded and suggested Merante file a complaint with the NYS Attorney General that Merante filed on August 28, 2020. “I spoke to Inspector Ralph Rodriguez, who is under the auspices of Yonkers Inspector General Liam McLaughlin, Esq. on September 17th, 2020, but not heard back yet. The office of the General Inspector of Yonkers closed the case on Merante without ever informing him that the case was "unfounded".

Merante also advised the entire Yonkers City Council membership and received no single response.

Below is the letter that was not filed as a complaint with the IAD on April 29, 2020. Merante reported that his property was missing on February 26, 2020, and an investigation wasn't opened until May. YPD intentionally or inadvertently falsified the relevant details in chronological and dated order. Nor does YPD go into why the proper procedure for a burglary complaint was not followed from the time it was reported. No photos, prints, research on where the castle of Merante's locker came from. Takeaway is evident, YPD made its "baseless" decision before the investigation ever began.

Detective Captain Justin R. Barbato

Commanding Officer – Internal Affairs Div.

Yonkers N.Y. Police department

914-377-7330 (office)

914-377-7335 (fax)

justin.Barbato@ypd.yonkersny.gov

Letter – A2020-031.pdf

Dear Mr. Merante,

Thursday, February 18, 2021, 9:54 am

YONKERS, NY – Your complaint, filed on 04/29/2020 for theft of property from your locker, has been thoroughly investigated by this office. It was determined that there was not enough evidence to support your claim and the investigation was subsequently closed.

The Yonkers Police Department is committed to high standards of professionalism and any wrongdoing will not be tolerated. We recognize your feeling that this matter has not been adequately investigated, but I can assure you that the dedicated and determined efforts of this office in investigating your complaint have been consistent and unwavering from the outset.

On February 17, 2021, this firm received an additional complaint that you had filed with the Westchester Public Prosecutor's Office. This complaint is consistent with your original complaint of 04/29/2020. I would advise that if you come across any new evidence that may shed new light on this matter, please forward it to this office. Without new evidence, this matter remains closed.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Detective Captain Justin R. Barbato

Commanding Officer – Internal Affairs Div.

Yonkers N.Y. Police department

914-377-7330 (office)

914-377-7335 (fax)

justin.Barbato@ypd.yonkersny.gov

Letter – A2020-031.pdf

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