The Jersey City Police Department fired three police officers in 2022 for three separate incidents involving using unnecessary force, cannabis use, and faking sick, according to their annual major discipline report.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The JCPD, which had 924 active officers at the end of last year, suspended six officers and fired three – while one forfeited his job after pleading guilty to a crime – their report, which was compiled by their internal affairs unit, says.
For starters, Police Officer Daniel Soto was suspended for 15 days for storing his firearm in a dresser and losing it when he put the dresser out to the curb for garbage pickup.
“Police Officer Daniel Soto had his off duty firearm stored in his dresser. Later he placed the dresser out to the curb for trash pick up and did not check the dresser for any items prior to taking it out to the trash. The dresser was placed into the garbage truck and removed,” the report states.
A lost property report was filed an a “general alarm” was also assigned for the incident.
Police Officers Richard Donan and David Leon were each also suspended for 15 days, for a domestic violence incident and a for not following proper procedures while working off-duty job details.
The officer who was issued the longest suspension in 2022 was Det. Edwin Vazquez, who received 120 days for not reporting driver’s license suspensions to his superiors, which included one incident where he got into a crash when he had no insurance.
He also did not follow protocols for reporting off sick for having five or more injuries/illnesses in a 12-month period, on three occasions he was not home on days when he called out sick, and also for one incident when he left shift early to work a second job and was caught drinking alcohol while still on the clock for the city.
While Police Officer Christopher Hill was not terminated, he forfeited his job and future public employment after pleading guilty to hitting a cyclist with a marked vehicle while on duty back in April.
The three police officers who ended up being terminated last year were Police Officers Samuel Torres, Neil Alzamora, and Clarissa Borges.
In Torres case, he was arrested for using unnecessary force against a victim during a domestic violence suit.
While that case occurred in 2020, with a suspension issued on June 8th and his removal being made on November 18th, the Office of Administrative Law upheld the decision on July 14th, 2022.
As for, Alzamora, he tested positive for cannabinoids/THC in 2021, was suspended on March 18th of that year, and fired on May 20th. Once again, the Office of Administrative Law upheld the decision, this time on March 23rd, 2022.
The AG’s office said this past April that police officers would be allowed to be used marijuana while off duty, though Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said he would not support that policy.
Finally, Borges was removed from the force for “behaving in a rude and discourteous manner towards the city doctor and his staff” after calling out sick, which she documented in a live social media video.
Police disciplinary disclosures became mandatory following a 2020 directive from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
New Jersey law enforcement agencies are technically required to post on their website by January 31st of each year, but many still just submit to the AG’s office through an online portal.
Locally, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Bayonne, East Newark, Kearny, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken, and West New York Police Departments have not uploaded their annual major discipline reports to their respective websites as of this writing.
The state’s annual database has also not been updated with each department’s major discipline report yet.
Posting a name in DV related case doesn’t provide privacy for the victim involved.
It is about time they recognize, that Cops they’re not above the law, most of them should of been fired not suspended. However i guess it one step at a time.
These former police officers who are victims of outdated drug laws they should apply open a cannabis sales business like Mayor Fulop’s wife is trying to do in Hoboken.
I just wish we could hear MORE about accomplishments, heroism, & exceptional services performed every day. How ungrateful we seem. The bad apples are few but exist in EVERY occupation.