I'm Not Naming Names ... But the Borough Should

I could not be more in agreement with New Jersey law that now requires all law enforcement agencies to submit their Major Discipline Reporting Form to the Attorney General.

Taxpayers have the right to do if their police, or any other employees, are goofing off on the job, taking advantage of their position, leaving work early or not showing up on time.

And it’s commendable that in Monmouth County, only a handful of towns, and the county jail, felt it necessary to mete out disciplinary action in the six month period from June 15 to the end of December last year.

The state defines “major discipline” as terminations, reductions in rank or suspensions for more than five days, and it’s the suspensions for more than five days that appears to be the most common punishment handed down in this first report.

Regretfully, there is one Highlands officer who is included on the list, and sadly, it cost him 30 days for his infraction. But all the report tells you is “Rules Violation Social Media.”

Admittedly, I do not know who wrote the rules that are violated, nor do I know what the officer did or said or displayed on social media that caused it to be a violation. Nor do I know whether it was a one time incident or habitual offenses.

What I do know is this is not the first officer on this department who has certainly violated social media rules. In an earlier case, one that will never be reported, since it occurred before the departments were required to report all punishments meted out, it caused serious irreparable damage to another person, caused continual harassment and abuse by officers in other departments, and actually caused interstate incidents .

And it was all instigated and done by a ranking member of the Highlands Police Department while he was on the job and being paid.

I don’t know what punishment he received for his violations of police directives and regulations, the Borough wasn't obligated to publicly report then.

But the Highlands police officer publicly reported for a violation, the first and thus far only, got 30 days suspension for “Rules Violation Social Media.”

That’s ten days more that another officer in another department got for for improper response to emergency service calls, not only one but FIVE different incidents in which the officer improperly delayed response by either yielding to other responding police vehicles, taking routes that increased response time or failed to activate emergency lights when necessary.

Are you kidding me? That officer got 20 days for what could be life endangerment situations, situations that could have caused serious problems, situations that showed that officer’s lack of respect for fellow officers, simply thinking they could do the job, while she, a female officer, could kind of slough off and let them handle things themselves, albeit down one professional officer.

I realize the Highlands officer disciplined in this report is well known and his name has been all over Facebook. It’s for those reasons I do not include his name here.

Unless we know ALL of the police officers currently on the department who have ever been disciplined during their time on the department, including the ranking members, this one officer should not take the embarrassment of being publicly identified everywhere..

Major Discipline Reporting June 15, 2020- December 31, 2020 AG Directive 2021-6 required all New Jersey law enforcement agencies to submit to the Attorney General their first “Major Discipline Reporting Form,” which covered discipline imposed between June 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020. “Major discipline” is defined as terminations, reductions in rank, or suspension of more than five days. Below is a listing of the reported major discipline for the second half of 2020, as reported by August 10, 2021


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