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Harrison Police Dispatcher Arrested in Child Pornography Case

Dec 10, 2023
Harrison NJ Police 911

The Town of Harrison, already under scrutiny for outsourcing its dispatch services to Bergen County, is now facing another scandal. James D. Lewis, a public safety dispatcher and trainee for a special law enforcement officer position in Harrison, has been arrested for possessing over 1,000 images depicting child pornography.

The investigation, led by the Secaucus Police Department in conjunction with the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, began in 2022. Detectives received a tip about child sexual abuse material being accessed through an account linked to an IP address in Secaucus.

Detective Kristen Bronowich spearheaded the investigation, which eventually identified Lewis, 39, as the suspect. A search of his residence on Cleveland Avenue in Harrison yielded disturbing evidence. Subsequently, Lewis was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and remanded to the Hudson County Jail in South Kearny.

Secaucus Police Chief Dennis Miller emphasized the department's commitment to justice, stating, "Crime knows no borders. We will work tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice, regardless of how they commit their crimes."

Harrison Police Chief David Strumolo responded to the arrest with a statement. "Mr. Lewis has been employed as a Harrison emergency dispatcher since March 2019," he said. "Although he recently began training as a Special Class I officer, he has not yet served in this capacity. We are committed to ensuring our community's safety and maintaining the highest standards of professional integrity."

Chief Strumolo further added that Lewis had been immediately suspended pending the investigation's outcome. He also encouraged residents with concerns about personnel to contact the Harrison Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit.

The recent developments add to the controversy surrounding the Harrison Police Dispatch department. Earlier, Mayor James Fife faced criticism for dismantling the local dispatcher team and outsourcing their jobs to Bergen County. This move, criticized for potentially compromising local emergency services was shocking especially since Mayor Fife did not seek any public input and did not provide notice of his decision to the public.

As the community grapples with these issues, the commitment to safety and integrity remains the foremost priority for the Harrison Police Department.

It is essential to remember the fundamental legal principle that an individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This presumption is a cornerstone of our justice system, ensuring that everyone is given a fair chance to defend themselves in court.

While the charges against Mr. Lewis are serious, and the investigation by the Secaucus Police Department, in collaboration with the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, has yielded disturbing findings, Mr. Lewis has the right to a fair trial. In such trials, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, and it is their responsibility to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

It is important for the public and media alike to refrain from passing judgment prematurely and to allow the legal process to unfold in a fair and unbiased manner. The principles of justice demand that we uphold these standards, ensuring that everyone is treated equally under the law.

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