NJ police union wins dispute over demand that town know if officers went to Capitol riot

BY CELINE CASTRONUOVO - 

A New Jersey police union on Tuesday announced that it had won a dispute over a town’s demand that local police officers identify if they participated in the violent Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the Capitol. 

Bob Fox, president of the Fraternal Order of Police’s-New Jersey Labor Council, said in a press release that it had resolved a grievance on behalf of members of Neptune Superior Officers Association Lodge 19, “preserving our members constitutional and contractual rights.” 

Fox added that Neptune Township on Jan. 20 sent out a notice that “demanded members identify if they participated in the ‘January 6, 2021 siege on the US Capital in Washington, DC,’” an event which he said the police union “at all levels clearly and unequivocally condemned.”

Fox added that officers were informed that they would face disciplinary action if they did not respond to the notice. 

“Notably, there was absolutely no indication, complaint, or information to suggest that any Neptune Superior Officer was in any way involved in the January 6th events in Washington DC.,” the police union head continued. “The FOP concluded that this investigation was done for solely political purposes and was not based on fact or credible information.”

The police union then filed a grievance “challenging the legality of the notice and the requirement to compel our members to answer,” and alleged “violations of our members’ rights under the collective negotiations’ agreement with the Township of Neptune.”

Fox said that the township then sustained the grievance, and therefore rescinded the notice to police officers. 

“The FOP, and the FOP-NJ Labor Council will continue to defend our members, without fail and with the full resources at our disposal,” Fox added in the press release. 

This comes as several current and former police officers have been among those arrested and charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, in which five people died as a result of the chaos, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick and a woman shot by a plainclothes officer. 

Federal officials have already charged more than 100 individuals in connection with the riot, and investigators on Tuesday said they are currently looking into more than 400 potential suspects

Acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. Michael Sherwin said in a call with reporters that law enforcement has received more than 200,000 tips from the public and obtained more than 500 search warrants and subpoenas.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-01-28 02:43:36 -0800