A Union City police officer has been suspended without pay after an investigation proved he’d been using a digital law enforcement database to provide information to a criminal enterprise, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Weslley Hernandez, 29, of Clifton, was arrested just after 11 a.m. this morning at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in Jersey City after he turned himself in with his
attorney, Suarez said in a statement.
Hernandez has been charged with computer theft, a second-degree crime.
The investigation discovered that on several dates in June 2020, Hernandez accessed the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Database and obtained information for purposes other than those authorized by his employment as a police officer.
“When it was brought to our attention that an officer from an unknown jurisdiction may be using his position to provide information to a criminal enterprise, the department took immediate steps to confirm or dispel a Union City Officer’s involvement,” explained Union City Police Chief Nichelle Luster.
“Upon confirming involvement, and later that same day, we contacted the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Internal Affairs Unit. We cooperated with the Prosecutor’s Office
investigation and placed the officer on administrative leave during the investigation. In light of today’s charges, the officer will be suspended without pay. We have a zero tolerance policy for these types of actions and believe law enforcement must be held to the highest of standards.”
This is an ongoing investigation and additional arrests and/or charges are possible, the county prosecutor’s office noted.
Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office HCPO Public Integrity Unit, Internal Affairs Unit, the Union City Police Department, the Hoboken Police Department and the Newark Police Department with the investigation and arrest.
Hernandez was sworn in as a UCPD recruit at the end of 2017.