Jim Kouri
Analysis: Cop killer nailed in New Jersey
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By Jim Kouri
January 17, 2011

New Jersey police officers on Sunday arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of an execution-style killing of a uniformed patrol officer on Friday.

Police officials reported that the suspect, Jahmell Crockam, shot and killed 27-year old Lakewood, New Jersey, Police officer Christopher Matlosz three times after Matlosz parked his police cruiser next to Crockam, who was walking on the sidewalk.

According to Lakewood police detectives, upon questioning witnesses they discovered that Officer Matlosz and Crockam exchanged words when suddenly Crockam stepped back from Matlosz's cruiser, pulled out a handgun and opened fire into the driver's side window.

Police sources told the Law Enforcement Examiner that the shooting triggered a massive manhunt that included SWAT teams and armored vehicles. Lakewood is located in Ocean County, New Jersey.

Prosecutors had already filed murder charges against Crockam while the multi-agency, mult-state dragnet was conducted on Saturday.

Crockam, rumored to be a gang member, went by the name of 'Sav,' short for Savage.

A SWAT team finally located and arrested Crockam Sunday morning at an apartment building in Camden, New Jersey, one of the most crime-ridden cities in America. Officials say they will continue their investigation and they are looking into possiblity Crockam had accomplices.

Camden's public apartment building complexes are considered the most dangerous in the United States.

Lakewood's Police Chief, Robert Lawson, said on Sunday, "Certainly the officers are relieved the suspect in the murder of Officer Matlosz has been apprehended. Like I said, it's not a time of celebration. it's now a time to focus on the grief. And the arrest of the suspect is some small solace to the officers and the family of Officer Matlosz."

Police Officer Christopher Matlosz, 27, leaves behind his mother, brother and fiance — along with many friends and co-workers, according to Chief Lawson.

The number of U.S. law enforcement fatalities spiked by 37 percent in 2010, a figure characterized as an alarming increase that follows two years of declining deaths among the nation's policing professionals.

A total of 160 federal, state and local law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 12 months, according to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). This represents a dramatic increase over the 117 officer fatalities in 2009, which marked a 50-year low.

Fifty-nine officers have been shot and killed during the past year, which is a 20 percent increase over the 49 killed by gunfire in 2009. Ten of the officers shot to death this year were killed in separate multiple-death incidents in Fresno,CA; San Juan, PR; West Memphis, AR; Tampa, FL and Hoonah, AK.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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