Even though lawmen arrested a suspect for the brutal murder of a Lakewood police officer, New Jersey law enforcement officials are still taking extra caution following word of an alleged order from the leadership of the Bloods street gang to murder more cops.
An alert from state police about the possible threat went out Saturday in the midst of an intensive manhunt for Jahmell Crockam, 19.
According to intelligence, leadership of the Bloods were upset to learn their members were being scrutinized in the course of the investigation, they ordered hits on any cop, anywhere in the state.
While there have been no attempted killings of officers since Friday's murder, "As a law enforcement officer this is always in the back of out minds" said Matthew de la Rosa, a Detective Sergeant with the Englewood, N.J. police department.
In Hackensack, Sgt. Hector Carter of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office and a veteran of its Gang Unit, told NBC New York that he has been "talking to different law enforcement sources and some of my informants on the streets and trying to figure out what's credible."
Sgt. Carter described how there are many "sets" or branches of the Bloods across the state and the nation, and that "each set has its own leader or godfather."
"Sometimes they cooperate and somethings they don't," Sgt. Carter said.
On a scale of one to ten, "I take it as a ten, I take it serious," he said. Sgt. Carter added "We have to treat it as though it can be real."
A few miles away in Englewood, Detective Sergeant de la Rosa learned long ago that he could be a target for retaliation.
"You be careful where you go, whey you drive home you take different routes," de la Rosa said, and then added "Some people cal it paranoid but I just call it being smart."
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