Hatzolah Member Pulled Over On Call, Officer To Send Summons In Mail

scannel_pic_2_tlsJUST IN: [UPDATED 11:20 p.m. – THE COP’S SIDE OF THE STORY] For the second time in months, Officer Dennis Scanell pulled over a Hatzolah member on the way to a call. The incident occurred moments ago on Route 9 and Prospect Street when a Hatzolah member – driving with lights and sirens – was pulled over by the officer.

Sources tell TLS, the officer immediately began yelling at the Hatzolah member about his lights and asked him where he was headed to.

The Hatzolah member responded that he was on his way to a call. 

Scanell – still yelling – said that it was only legal to have one light and that he would be issuing him a summons.

After the member told the officer that he needed to get to a call, the officer let the member go, but not before making him shut his lights for the remainder of the call and saying he will be sending him a summons via mail. TLS-CC/TLS-CCP/TLS-50

UPDATE: 6:05 p.m. Comitteeman and Police Liaison Meir Lichtenstien has just submitted the following statement to TLS regarding the incident.

“It is always upsetting when a volunteer Hatzolah member gets stopped. Hatzolah members should not feel restricted from responding appropriately to calls. Patients deserve a timely response and indeed there are situations where seconds count. LPD and Hatzolah have a system in place where Supervisors can talk to each other about any incidents and take appropriate steps when necessary. Hatzolah has also provided LPD with a list of the member’s responding cars. LPD can and in fact has called Hatzolah dispatch to verify responding vehicles. This system works and allows all agencies to perform their responsibilities without delaying patient care.”

“It is extremely frustrating and uncalled for when this system is not adhered to. I spoke to the Chief who assured me that today’s incident is being investigated. I am certain apropriate measures will be taken and that the good relationship between LPD and Hatzolah will continue”.

scanell_and_lawson_tlsUPDATE 11:20 p.m. Dennis Scanell, Badge # 267, has submitted the following statement to TLS:

“First off it is DENNIS. Second, I stopped the driver for driving southbound in the northbound lanes of River Ave. at approximately 50+ m.p.h. and traveling for over a 1/4 mile in this fashion. While doing so he passed by another L.P.D. officer who was on a motor vehicle stop in the northbound lane. This driver whose name I could and should mention but I won’t out of respect, could have struck the officer should that officer have stepped out of the marked patrol vehicle. Anyone that was waiting in the southbound lane could have inched out to see what the hold up was could have been struck not thinking there would be a vehicle driving the wrong way”.

“I have never written a summons to ANY Hatzolah member nor an EMT or Fire Fighter. This should have been checked before comments were made. But just as history shows, there are too many people who jump to conclusions. How would you feel if this driver struck and injured or killed your family member? Thats what we think about when we patrol the streets”.

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164 COMMENTS

  1. I’ts abusers like u that cause all the strife in the 1st place! Now if ure on a call that’s a different story, but st tells me that you abuse the granted laws, Causing law abiding responders like myself undue harrasment!

  2. There are laws but the officer should know better. As per the actual Law only the mail man (because it is a federal vehicle which is above state law) can run a red light. Yes that is true. Look up the law.

    Common sense people !!!

  3. 39:3-54.19. Subject to traffic laws; right-of-way or sirens; yielding right of way
    This act shall not grant to any chief or first assistant chief of a volunteer fire company any privileges or exemptions denied to the drivers of other vehicles, and persons displaying red emergency warning lights, sirens, or both, shall drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and shall obey the traffic laws of this State; but drivers of nonemergency vehicles upon any highway shall yield the right of way to the vehicle of any chief or first assistant chief of a volunteer fire company displaying red emergency warning lights, sirens, or both, in the same manner as is provided for authorized emergency vehicles pursuant to R.S. 39:4-92.

  4. Mr. Scanell,

    Know the law before you start up holding it. According to the NJ MVC you are allowed to have more then one(1) red emergency light displayed. Really don’t you have something better to do then harass emergency volunteers.

  5. Should have a PA license plate – no one would bother stopping! Have anyone seen LPD stopping motorists for blaring music or modified mufflers that make surrounding houses vibrate? According to the Law, those noises should be inaudible beyond 50 feet. Kehilah should question the motivation of the officer stopping and ticketing a Hatzolah emergency responder. Is there totally nothing else to do for LPD? We need explanation here.

  6. Badge # 267 officer Scannel has become notorious for practically harassing Volunteer emergency responders -especially Hatzolah Members- while they give up their own time to go help a person in need of help. It doesn’t bother him if the responder is potentialy responding to a child not breathing. He just like to show who’s more powerful, and who will stop for you.
    Dennis, you should be ashamed of yourself, and don’t start with the protecting the law garbage. I’m sure if you got an emergency call from your home, you’d sit in bumper to bumper traffic getting there.

  7. Isn’t “Denice” (Denise) a female name? If so, why does the article refer to her as a “he”. or did you mean to write “Dennis”?

  8. This guy is a loose cannon. It seems Chief Lawson does not have an answer of how to deal with this guy. Officer Scandal needs sensitivty training ASAP before its too late!

  9. We need accountability in the LPD even more of a reason for an outside independent civillian review board. The internal investigations are a joke.

  10. As a first responder I would like to know what type of lights do you have on you car? It is said you have a siren on your car? Do you have the valid permits to have these on your car? If you have red lights and a siren on your car are you an officer above captain to have these on your car? Also how were you responding to the call in a safe manner or were you weaving in an out of traffic like I see some others do?

  11. As a first responder i have red lights and sirens in my car. I am a Dep Chief in a fire company. I always drive in a safe manner. My vehicle is outfitted with all dif types of LED’s. I think Mr. Scanell (moderated)

  12. I think there are some who are jealous of our people who are ready to sacrifice everything for others without any pay or recognition. When such individual sees a volunteer emergency responder rushing to help others and possibly save lives, a such (rare) cop feels it competes with $92,000 salary plus benefits and challenges his callousness.

  13. One of the beautiful tools given to Police officers is “discretion”. It is actually a requirement that a Police Officer use discretion. Back in the day there was a movie called (moderated) . But, it was only movie. Real cops are not robots, they are supposed to use discretion. Dennis Scannel is not worthy of being one of “Lakewood”s Finest”. He reminds me of another movie (moderated)

  14. Is an officer allowed to drive while talking on cell? are they allowed to “idle” outside wawa or dunkin donuts? Come on guys! Are they allowed to go over the speed limit or run a red light when not responding to a call or off duty? Or how about when 5 cop cars run to a stupid traffic violation? is that necessary – cause if its not then they are also disobeying the law – no different than a volunteer! You gotta use common sense!

  15. There are a few rotten apples on the force that give the rest of them a bad name. A real shame. I guess all the unions have enough power that us lakewood citizens are stuck and not much can be done. We should make a hall of shame for all those members that embarass the entire police force with their brilliance and astute sense of justice.

  16. Why are we so quick to condemn the cop? The EMT Might have had lights and sirens, but we do not know the whole story. Was he driving recklessly? Was he running red lights without properly yielding? Lets let the investigation play out before we start bashing the brave men and women of LPD

  17. You can be the good cop Dennis Scannel or you can be the bad cop Dennis the Menace. Why not be the good cop making our streets safer instead of being the scorn of the people you serve? Dennis, its up to you!!! Make the right choices. Decide which Dennis you want to be.

  18. Scannell is giving tickets to Volunteer EMS professionals even though his vehicle has tinted windows which is against the law. I’m sure Chief Lawson will do something about this Officer. How can you right a ticket to a person ENROUTE to an EMERGENCY call even though you, yourself break the law EVERYDAY with your tinted windows.

  19. the statute you cite seems to refer to volunteer fire company, is there one for volunteer first aid? And does that statute require you to be a captain of the volunteer first aid squad to display red lights and have a siren? And aren’t just about all members of Hatzolah captains so they can display the red light and siren? Does anybody know?

  20. kudos to all that hit the scnail on the head.
    officer scandal is in fact quite notorious for not only being over zealous in chasing/ harrasing hatzoloh, but rather quite notorious for making up laws as he goes along. even his own colleagues say the same about him.
    and to those jealous advocates out there shall look in da mirror and realize that there is a quite distinguishable line between ENFORCING a LAW, and BEING OVERZEALOUS. we dont see his zeal in pursuing crime or in cracking down on the most law breaking illegals or illegalities not even close nearly as much as it burns him to see a non-civil servant a non blue uniform a non police badge to be utilizing equipment that places his ego down a few notches for 60 seconds.
    fact was in this case the lights and sirens was NOT abuse since as verified by the police that the hatzoloh WAS on a CALL. if anyones feelings are hurt by hatzoloh responding with lights and sirens they should take it up with the chief or the committee or the president.
    BUT NOT WHILE SOMEONES LIFE MAY BE AT STAKE. a big duh!

    and yes we do need better internal affairs to monitor and crackdown on (moderated) like scandal 267.
    he is not ready for sensitivity training , he is lacking plain basic training, that he missed out in academy due to he knew it all back then.

  21. I find it truly amazing in a situation of an accident for example you can have to types of people respond to the scene; one that can save a life and ones that control traffic. Only one of them is allowed to have lights and sirens If any normal person would have to guess that its the emergancy personnel that have the lights. But in reality its not that way the cops come flying in at excessive speeds pass red lights and endanger lives to come “control traffic” !!!! Does this make any sense to any one with a half a brain.

    So being that this puzzled me I looked up the law my self. It would shock you to know that no officer is allowed to use his or her lights and siren unless they are in active pursuit of a criminal who is suspected of a felon any other time they are not allowed to use their lights and sirens let alone pass a red light.

    But I guess since no one can give a cop a ticket they can break the laws as much as they like.

  22. anyone with more good history of Mr Scandel should please email it to the editor. Maybe TLS will post his history and he`ll be bounced out of “Lakewood`s finest”

  23. he should be assigned to ocean county park for the next 5 years counting the squirrels going up and down the trees for messing with hatzolah like that!!

  24. Kudos to Officer Scanell, you (moderated) feel you are above the law. Well no way,,,,, this needs to stop know!!!! Follow the laws and this won’t happen

  25. Even if it’s true that he was driving recklessly, the correct thing to do is follow the membor to the emergency call and wait untill he is finished helping, and then give him a ticket.

    This way you don’t put the patient’s life in danger.

  26. the lpd has to be reminded time and time again. They WORK!!!!!!! for the tax paying members of this town. It’s not a right they were born with. they where hired like any other employee. I would like to see Mr Scanell or Mr. Hornack for that matter last one day in the NYPD.

  27. I don’t think you should have put the officer’s name. TLS won’t report negatively on certain people because it would be considered gossip, or so that their name is not smeared, but here against a police officer it’s okay? He and the dept haven’t given their side, the details are sketchy- but you print his name so everyone can badmouth him?

    I’m not saying he is without fault, but I don’t think it’s right. You didn’t put up the name of the officer who was pulling things off of the telephone poles, right?

  28. These comments make me laugh. Come ride with me one day. You really have no clue. But it’s your lack of common sense that keep criminals in business, not a lack of police. And as for your driving, I think that speaks for itself. Keep the comments coming, it is the one thing into which you put some effort. Just work on the spelling.

  29. Always found that if you drive like an idiot you’ll attract unwanted attention (police) only follows that If an ems/fire responder drives like an race car driver to a call , he too is fair game for punishment and gives all responders a bad name.
    Save the “must get there quickly at all cost” excuse, because its the first thing they teach you in first aid and fire school – speed kills slow down . It get old to hearing the same old ” their picking on us”

    Boys, you know the rules start playing by them if it was any other town they would impound your car for the red lights

    You know it and I know it

  30. I am quite shocked by some of the comments being posted .the blatant anti semitism is appalling , where is you’re respect for people who are only interested in saving lives !? FYI : in NYC this would never happen , in fact members of the NYPD (I.e Chief Joseph Fox( only call hatzala for their families ,because they know they will get a rapid two minute response , the most well trained responder , most of all someone who actually cares.

  31. Keep up the negativity and see if more tickets are giving out. This should be handled in court, not on TLS. But if members of the community keep on bashing the PD the big loser will be yourself. Good point on the selective negative feedback. I have tried to post negative things before on certain high ranking Officer’s only to be moderated of course.

  32. to #43 you state: Scannell is giving tickets to Volunteer EMS professionals even though his vehicle has tinted windows which is against the law.
    How would you know this? Are you stalking this officer? Are you stalking other officers too?????

  33. To # 67. It’s my mistake. It initially said Denice.

    Also, many commenters have asked why their comments have not been posted. Please understand, that personal attacks on anyone – an official or civilian – will not be published.

    As always, should you feel a comment was denied for no apparent reason, or you feel a comment is inappropriate, please contact us.

    Thank you.

    TLS Editor.

  34. SHAME SHAME SHAME on Mayor LIichtenstein for coming out and “condeming’ this police officer before all of the facts are known. If this EMT was driving recklessly, ignoring red lights, and putting other drivers at risk, the cop had EVERY right to pull him over.

  35. the officers are meant to enforce and uphold the law. not harrass talk down to or belittle the residents paying them with their tax dollars.Respect is a 2 way street.

  36. wow glad to see you took everything I wrote for my comments off. Dont worry the truth will come out and AGAIN thankyou Dennis Scannell for making out streets safer by repremanding this (moderated)!!!!!!!!

  37. I can’t believe you (Lakewood) have to deal with this, we play baseball with the NYPD every summer. To a point- we’re friends and partners for a better community. We must be doing something right, because I’ve never seen a cop stop a Hatzolah member or Shomrim or Chavarim, or even Misaskim! In Brooklyn the cops know it’s the T L C drivers that will kill someone, and the more strobe lights the better to see us coming.

  38. FYI If one of Lakewood’s Police Officers drive as to pose a risk of injury to themselves or the public we will get an internal investigation and risk suspension. Since this has been an ongoing issue with Hatzolah, maybe they should face punishment as well. One of our Officers actually WAS suspended for responding TOO FAST to an emergency and another was punished for responding recklessly to assist another Officer.

  39. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty. Did TLS interview the officer to hear his side of the story.Even if the police officer in fact did make a mistake.It is entirely inappropriate to publish a police officer’s name and photo. The issue should be resolved in the PD internally and not on a blog.

  40. Good Job Dennis. Responders need to keep in mind that light is a courtesy light, stop braking the laws. I think that volunteer should have his lights taken away for breaking the law.
    Hey Dennis, did he have a permit for the lights?

  41. Meir Lichtenstien did not condemn the officer . He questioned the way the officer handled it. Meir is a good friend of the LPD. He is a big PD advocate. He is also a good friend of EMS and FD. He wants that all emergency responders be able to respond to calls in a safe and efficient manner.

  42. Lpd must implement an evaluation on a constant basis to identify Narcissism. Don’t cry antisemite. If he took the risk of pulling over a EMT on the way to the call. He didn’t wait to follow him to the emergency scene. This shows a tremendous lack of consideration for someone elses life. Can you imagine how he might respond to life and death emergency scene. The technical letter of the law doesn’t supercede life and death.

  43. Wow, what a difference one state makes. I was in my cousins’ car in flatbush, he’s on Shomrim. He had to get to a mechanic. He was making a left turn in middle of a block on coney Isl ave. So , he put on his cherry. I’m like, r u nuts ?!! U’ll get a ticket !! He looked at me like I’m nuts. What ?! A cop ?! Give a ticket for misuse of lights/sirens ??!! No way !! & here, in Jersey, in Lakewood, where we are over 70% of the tax base, a volunteer gets pulled over en-route to a real call. Unbelievable.

  44. Hopefully there is no need but if chas vshalom tehillim needs to be said and someone tries to start a chain and gets no where, maybe all the people who posted here can each say 2 perakim and we would be finished in no time.. Im no tzaddik, just my opinion..

  45. I was in my cousins’ car in flatbush, he’s on Shomrim. He had to get to a mechanic. He was making a left turn in middle of a block on coney Isl ave. So , he put on his cherry.

    It’s people like your cousin that give the rest of us a bad name.

  46. Denice Scandal is a cops cop. Since the days he first stepped out of the academy and onto the mean streets of Lakewood, he’s been dedicated to righting wrong no matter how inaccurate. And to inaugurating the lpd with the introduction of his better half who helped in shaping his career. The comments here are unfair and true. The demeanor of this wonderful passionate officer of the law. Well whether its picture taking or whistle howling or helping out one of his own hes on the job. He does not unfairly target voluteer emergency responders only. Give him a chance again.

  47. For all of you that want to hear this first hand it happened just in front of me. I don’t think this guy was driving wild he was coming from behind me I pulled over to the side like we are supposed top do and he passed me and some other cars then from behind us a cop came blearing and pulling this guy over in my opinion the cop was reckless

  48. Dennis,
    Thank you for taking the time to clarify what happened from your perspective. Your well reasoned response should be the end of the story. It’s unfortunate that everyone jumps to conclusions without getting the facts. My only suggestion to you in the future would be to pull the fellow over, tell him to drive on the right side of the lane and give him the ticket after the patient has been attended to.

  49. Thank You Officer Scanell for making this statement.
    There truly are 2 sides to any story. Let’s sit back and wait for the results of the investigation.
    Have a safe day.

  50. Dudes!!!!!!!!! He was NOT putting anyone in danger with his lights he was just trying to gecall and help the person in need don’t give me those reckless stories!

  51. To all those attempting to stick up for Scannel, think about this for a minute. Hatzolah responds to about 4000 calls a year in Lakewood. During the past 12 months, 3 Hatzolah members were pulled over while enroute to a call. All 3 times, it was by non other than Dennis Scannel. People and Police officers make mistakes. That’s a fact of life. When someone makes the same “mistake” 5,6,7… times??? He’s been doing the same shtick for years. He’s been spoken to numerous times by his higher ups, and been explained that if see an issue with an emergency response vehicle, report to your supervisor and deal with it behind the scenes. The good responsible thing for an officer to do would be to escort the emergency vehicle through the heavy traffic and to the call location.

  52. first of all blue lights and red lights only have to be treated with courtesy.2nd i think dennis is protecting our streets, he was protecting the community by stopping a vehicle that may have caused bodily harm to anyone else on the streets….he also helped prevent another hatzolah member from being involved in an accident responding to a call..if everyone reads the scoop you frequently read how “another hatzolah member involved in crash responding to call” article…we all suffer from tunnel vision at times and need an occasional eye opener to break it….these dedicated men need to use better judgement when responding…..lets all get along ….thank the men responding on their own time but dont bash a police officer for doing his job….as far as his tint goes maybe you should just ask if he has a permit for it….i have a permit for my tinted windows as well as my blue / red lights…….remember…your not any good to a person who needs help if you dont make it there at all……

  53. I was traveling 2 days ago on River ave southbound with my wife in the car and suddenly we see a police car zooming by on my left side between the 2 lanes. He was not going 50mph he was probably going 90mph zigzag. My wife started yelling “this police car is going to hit someone” and he almost did! Everyone know that River ave is always jammed and the only way for emergency vehicles to pass trough this traffic is only on the middle of both lanes. Please explain me this corruption. I don’t believe his story ” While doing so he passed by another L.P.D. officer who was on a motor vehicle stop in the northbound lane” What’s the difference if a hatzolah member hits a police officer or if a officer hits a civilian like, I witness myself! I don’t believe his story I just understand that after such a horrible episode he has to excuse him self and bake a story! And the worst part of his excuse is That he only cares about the other officer (that was never there) and not for any civilians!!!!!

  54. Min hameitzar, my suggestion to you would be to shut your mouth. I’m sure if it was your kid with a tiny cut, you’d be screaming that hatzolah didn’t get there fast enough.
    Dennis, your explanation rings hollow as you know good & well that emergency driving is complicated & sometimes requires irregular actions to expedite the response. One of the reasons emergency responders use audible warnings is to WARN other drivers of these possible actions. (A necessary fact that evaded the dumb bureaucrats who wrote the Blue light law) The same reason why your RMP is equipped with such expensive LED lights & sirens. Perhaps you may not mind if the EMT responding to your baby choking sat in traffic for 1/4 of a mile on River Avenue but most taxpayers would definitely mind.
    I doubt that you have ever given a fellow officer a ticket despite the fact that LPD routinely responds in a highly dangerous fashion to non life threatening emergencies. (I seem to remember one late night in september ’09 when numerous police cars responded down rt 9 at extremely high rates of speed in pouring rain but I guess any response is justified if the victims are wearing badges & not some poor boy)
    In addition your statement about your history with Hatzolah members or EMS is not factually correct.

  55. First of all he is a Law Enforcement Officer going to one of those “emergencies” you think are not as important as a Volunteer w/Red light speeding down the middle of the road. From what I know of being a volunteer, they are not allowed to have Red Lights And Sirens. As a volunteer, unless you are a Chief, or Captain of a Fire or EMS Unit, you are only authorized Red Lights but still not allowed Sirens. How can you say You are a volunteer and you have more lights on your cars than most Police, Fire or EMS vehicles in this town. It is ridiculous that you think everyone is above the law…And they are not. As a volunteer the first thing they tell you is -while in your vehicle responding to an emergency you must OBEY all Traffic Laws..Cut and dry. If you violate a law you are subject to the fines and or punishment that goes along with it. You are not above the law when you are responding to emergencies. You do not have the privilege of playing GOD. Police are here for our safety, Fire, EMS & Hatzolah are here for our safety. It is a shame that people do not or will not allow the volunteers the courtesy of the respect and training they get to do their jobs that by the way they do not get paid for. That is why they are called volunteers.
    How many more officers are you going to complain about giving out tickets for trying to keep the streets of Lakewood safe. Maybe they should all go home. Let the “good people of Lakewood run the town”

  56. Agree with #94, if there is backup on rt9 you must use the opposite lane what do you think an EMT will wait in traffic?! Officer I’ll turn your own question back on yourself, how would you feel if it were your family member and the EMT that was coming to save them waited patiently in traffic?!!! Bottom line is Hatzolah members are all very well trained and are very clear about hatzaloha mode of conduct and they would never brake them, if a member is harassed in middle of a call that is harassment end of story, And officer if you disagree answer this, why couldnt you follow him to the call a wait for him to finish and then proceed to admonish and or ticket him? no answer Hu?

  57. Officer Denice Scanell, Keep up the good work! (moderated – Language as such is not permitted on this site. Thank you for understanding).

  58. if everyone would learn how to drive this wouldnt be a problem, if you would pull over to the side of the road as soon as you see lights in your rearview mirror, there will be a clear path for any volunteer to get through, instead of thinking that you can go faster then the emergency vehicle, everyone in lkwd is reckless drivers, go to the west coast you will see every car pulls over to the side of the road as soon as there is emergency lights behind them, even a block behind them. learn how to obey laws and response times will be even quicker!!!!

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