Jennifer Thorpe 0

Disabled Veteran Mocked, kicked off boardwalk with Service Dog

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****UPDATED**** 8/17/13 & 8/18/13

Please keep contacting the North Wildwood, New Jersey Police Department until  proper justice is served. A simply apology is not enough. We need to be sure this is not going to happen again to anyone with a disability! At least not with their police department. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN AND READ THE UPDATE. Thank you!

NWPD Police Chief Matteucci

General contact:

U.S. Army veteran Jared Goering was kicked off the North Wildwood boardwalk Thursday night because he had his service dog by his side. A North Wildwood police officer issued Jared and his wife a summons because of the dog. Goering said, “I expected to get more respect from him because of the jobs that we both have to do." "He mockingly asked if all veterans get service dogs," said Jared’s wife, Sally Goering, “his dog is medically necessary and he is a service dog." Jared and his wife Sally say the incident occurred on the 26th street North Wildwood boardwalk. The Goering family said, even after showing the officer the dog's service identification card, he still issued them a summons and kicked them off the boardwalk. Goering served in the army from 1993-2012; in 2009 in Afghanistan, his vehicle was blown up twice by IEDs within 36 hours. He uses his dog, Gator (short for Navigator), to help him walk and go up and down stairs. Gator also helps him emotionally; Goering suffers from PTSD, severe anxiety, and depression. Police officials said there are no pending charges, but they are continuing an investigation. The mayor said they will issue an apology when the findings of the investigation are revealed.

Please stop this from ever happening again!

Here is my email to the Police Department :

Chief Matteucci

My name is Jennifer Thorpe and I am writing to you in regards to the recent event involving one of your officers and a hero. It has been brought to my attention that your officer confronted, mocked and kicked U.S. Army Veteran Jared Goering, and his Service Guide dog Gator off of the North Wildwood boardwalk during a visit recently. 

This is a clear show of disrespect for the men and women who serve our Country, as well as toward animal service dogs. A petition has been started and we, the public, demand a public apology from your Police Department and the Mayor of North Wildwood, New Jersey. We can only hope that this never happens again. Your police officers should be showing honor toward his fellow service members, whether human or animal. 

With all due respect, 
Jennifer Thorpe

Let's flood the North Wildwood Police Department and get justice: 

**** UPDATE 8/17/13
I received an email from the North Wildwood, NJ Police Department staff member with a general subject line of 'Thank you for contacting us'. The email contained 2 pdf documents. First item was a statement from the NWPD trying to weakly explain themselves and them mentioning being contacted by the K-9 training company. 

The second attachment is a letter from America's Vet Dogs thanking the NWPD for their attention to the case regarding Mr. Goering and his Service Dog, Gator. In response to the NWPD request, the company willingly offers training to the NWPD staff. The Police Department simply distributed training materials to their staff. 

It is mentioned that an apology was given to Jared Goering and the charges were voided once contacted by America's Vet Dogs. It should have NEVER gotten to this to begin with. A simple apology is NOT enough. 

I've copied the text from both documents for your review. 

Statement from NWPD:

Letter from America's Vet Dogs to NWPD:

UPDATE 8/18/13:

My reply to Ms Whalen of the NWPD:

Ms Whalen, 

After reading the attached statement from NWPD, and letter from America's Vet Dogs, I felt not satisfaction in regards to how the situation was handled. Although, the police department states an apology was given, this does not suffice. Also, the handing out of information about guide dogs to the police staff is not sufficient training. I feel that all employees need specialized training on how to handle and understand those with disabilities, and how service/guide animals are a vital element in the functionality of those living with the disability. There are far too many cases of this type of abuse. 

I am a disabled American citizen and have a dog that is not certified as a service animal. It's okay because if I need him to be, I will go forward with the proper avenues. For now, he keeps me company and helps me at home. Knowing how it feels to be disabled, this case hit home very strongly. Also, seeing first hand what wartime PTSD is like from living with a former soldier, I am repulsed by the officers actions. I refuse to accept the statement issued by North Wildwood Police Department as a resolution. There are many petitions regarding this and we will not stop using our right to freedom of speech. I hope the PD can come up with a better way to make this right. I also hope that the reconsider training their staff in understanding the disabled, both physically and mentally. But, also provide more training on tact and humanity. If the police ever wonder why there is so much distrust from the people, they can look at themselves in the mirror. These isolated incidents make the entire department look bad. What is that phrase? Guilty by association.


Jennifer Thorpe - Disable Citizen 



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