Two years ago: Cape May County jail institutes online visits

The Cape May County jail has a new norm for visitations.

The jail implemented Skype-like video chats in April 2011, and Sheriff Gary Schaffer said 2,600 of the roughly 5,100 inmate visits last year were online.

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“It’s changing because it’s more convenient,” he said.

In-person visits are only allowed between 4 and 6 in the afternoons, but as many as three 20-minute online visits can be made per day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The county charges a fee of $10 per visit — of which 52 percent goes to iWebVisit.com, which installed the system.

But calculating gas, tolls and convenience, Schaffer said it’s a better deal for a visitor to spend time talking to an inmate via a computer screen.

In jail, only one person can visit at a time.

Schaffer said he spoke to one woman who has three children, and before they could only see their father once every three weeks.

“She told me all three of her sons get to see him now, and she’s never coming back” to the jail, he said.

Inmates have also used the system to watch family events through a computer and talk to people in different countries, he said.

The new system also increases safety because the officers do not have to spend as much time moving inmates to the meeting area.

Four months ago: Atlantic City plans dialogue between developers and residents

In December, Atlantic City awarded a $25,000 contract to the firm Bizzelle & Associates in Trenton to create a partnership between residents and future developers in the city.

President Joan Bizzelle said they are working with the city’s 15 different neighborhoods and hope to establish “A Seat at the Table” initiative.

The coalition of residents would meet with developers and discuss proposed projects.

Bizzelle said it would not be mandatory for developers to meet with the coalition, but it would be a way for them to address any issues in the neighborhood and build a good partnership.

“We want (residents) to be aware of the developers in the city,” she said. “We want the developers to be aware of the needs of the city.”

Bizzelle said she hopes to have the initiative in place by September.

Ten months ago: Galloway Township woman dies after crashing into Prosecutor’s Office chief

On June 21, motorists called Galloway Township police to report a vehicle driving erratically on the White Horse Pike.

The driver, Vanessa English, collided with a sport utility vehicle driven by Daren Dooley — chief of detectives of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.

English was pronounced dead at the scene, and officials have not released what may have caused her to drive erratically.

A toxicology report was done on English but an Open Public Records Act request from the Prosecutor’s Office for the results was denied. Haleigh Walz, spokeswoman for the Prosecutor’s Office, said the office does not release toxicology records to the public.

Walz said Dooley returned to work at the end of October on limited duty.

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

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