The Jersey City Internal Affairs Unit spent nearly two years investigating an incident where a Jersey City police sergeant allegedly drove drunk and wasn’t charged as the result of a “professional courtesy” from another department, though the situation ultimately cost the officer five compensatory days and 10 vacation days.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Vincent Corso, a Jersey City police officer since June 6, 1993 with a salary of $134,765 in 2016, was stopped by Robbinsville police on January 30, 2014 for speeding and having a broken headlight.
Based on video of the incident recorded by police dashboard cameras, Corso appeared to be “highly intoxicated,” with one responding officer stating “You are so f****** up right now you can’t even speak right.”
Eventually, Robbinsville police allowed Corso to be picked up by members of his own department rather than charging him with any crime.
Lt. James Carroll and Sgt. Robert Kearns, the president of the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association, picked up Corso from Robbinsville, according to multiple reports.
“I don’t know your impairment, but I want you to understand that we are going beyond the norm here – we are extending a professional courtesy,” a third officer said on the dashboard cam video.
Real Jersey City, who first reported the story, uploaded 29 minutes worth of footage from the incident to their YouTube page.
Finally, on September 26, according to a document obtained by Hudson County View, Corso lost five compensatory days, five vacation days and another subsequent five vacation days (10 total) for violating policies relating to cooperation, removal of a firearm from a holster and weapons and ammunition protocol.
The document was signed by Jersey City Police Chief Philip Zacche and the loss of 15 paid days off was made effective as of September 21.
Joe Blaettler, a former Union City deputy chief of police and the owner of East Coast Private Investigations, questioned how it could take so long to render a decision on an incident that was caught on video.
“Two years to come to a conclusion seems a little excessive, it was on video,” Blaettler said this morning, adding that it would be unfair to comment on if the discipline was appropriate, given that he does not know Corso’s track record.
Back in May, Inside Edition featured Corso’s Robbinsville traffic stop during a segment on police officers receiving “professional courtesy” from other departments.
Steve Lenox, a spokesman for the JCPSOA (where Corso is a ranking member) deferred comment to Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill, who didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.
Meanwhile Robert Cowan, the police chief at the time of the incident, declined to comment.