- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

WYCKOFF, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey police chief was suspended with pay amid an investigation into a 2014 email he sent to township police condoning profiling - racial or otherwise - in law enforcement if done “fairly.”

The Wyckoff Township Committee voted Tuesday to suspend Chief Benjamin Fox, a move Mayor Kevin Rooney said he felt was necessary as investigations go forward, The Record (https://bit.ly/1SMnHEY ) reported.

A 40-year law enforcement veteran, Fox agreed to go on administrative leave March 22 after the email was made public by the New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union.

The email, addressed to members of the township police force, said police “check out suspicious black people in white neighborhoods” because “black gang members from Teaneck commit burglaries in Wyckoff.”

Fox denied wrongdoing in internal emails, saying he doesn’t support or allow “officers to do their job in an illegal manner or in a way that citizens would be treated unfairly and disrespectfully.”

His attorney, Arthur Margeotes, didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment Tuesday.

Fox is under investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the state Attorney General’s Office. Both agencies initially said the email appeared to be a “clear violation” of state policy prohibiting racial profiling, but neither has commented since on the investigation.

Rooney said Fox’s suspension will end when the investigations are concluded.

Capt. Timothy Condon, of the prosecutor’s office, was named a monitor for the department in Fox’s absence. He’s responsible for training officers on an attorney general directive barring “racially influenced policing,” and making sure the department is in compliance with state laws.


Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), https://www.northjersey.com

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