Attachment disordered cops
Sheriff's officer fires gun in argument with woman, report says
WOODBRIDGE – A Union County sheriff's officer has been suspended after being accused of shooting his weapon during an argument with a woman and, in another incident, threatening her at gunpoint.
Scott Gardiner, 43, was charged Jan. 16 with making terroristic threats by a township woman who told local police that Gardiner has been "continually harassing her" since December.
The woman told police that Gardiner threatened her with his work-issued weapon several times in 2013, when they lived together.
She claimed that in July 2013 Gardiner shot his gun into a bed during an argument and told her: "Next time it's gonna be you, b.... "
Also that year, she said, Gardiner made her drive him to visit his mother, telling the woman "keep driving, b.... " as he pointed his gun toward the windshield.
She said he also "cursed at her on numerous occasions," calling her vulgar slurs against women.
Gardiner, a Manalapan resident, has been a law-enforcement officer since May 1994, according to state pension records. In 2013, he earned more than $95,000 a year and held the rank of sergeant.
Because the complaint involves alleged domestic violence, authorities are required to take certain steps, including notifying a county prosecutor and confiscating the officer's personal and work weapons.
The woman told police that she was reporting the incidents for the first time because she had not "wanted to get him into trouble," according to a Woodbridge police report obtained by MyCentralJersey.com under the Open Public Records Act.
Gardiner was not arrested, according to the report, which also noted where he worked and that the incident would be investigated by internal affairs.
Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan on Monday declined to discuss details of the case.
"I can confirm that he has been suspended from our office pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation," he said.
Cryan said Gardiner's weapons were confiscated "as a matter of policy" but declined to elaborate or say whether Gardiner would continue to receive pay.
Gardiner on Monday said the case was "going through the court system" and that the restraining order that a municipal court judge had signed against him last month had been dropped. He declined further comment.
A spokesman for the Middlesex County Sheriff's Office did not return a request for comment.
Investigations into law-enforcement officers involved in domestic violence complaints are governed by state attorney general guidelines that went into effect in 2009.
The guidelines were issued in order to make victims less intimidated about complaining about police officers.
The guidelines require agencies to disqualify job applicants with histories of domestic violence or sexual assault and to train officers annually on handling domestic violence calls and on the impact of domestic violence within the law-enforcement community.
Supervisors are supposed to look for "warning signs" of possible domestic violence problems among officers, including an increase in excessive force complaints, inappropriate treatment of animals, injuries and excessive tardiness and absences.
The guidelines caution against making any arrests until an investigation has been conducted.
The internal affairs unit of the agency where the officer works is supposed to investigate the incident, even if a temporary restraining order is dismissed.
Law-enforcement agencies since 2011 have been required to keep track of internal affairs probes involving domestic violence. Records for the Union County Sheriff's Office indicate that there were no reported domestic violence investigations in 2011 or 2012. Data for 2013 and 2014 is not yet available.
Staff Writer Sergio Bichao: 908-243-6615; firstname.lastname@example.org
Lexington police officer charged with harassment
A Lexington police officer has been charged with harassment and official misconduct after an investigation.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) - A Lexington police officer has been charged with harassment and official misconduct after an investigation into a Jan. 13 arrest.
The investigation revealed that Officer James Norris had "forceful physical contact" with a suspect, and had "intent to harass and intimidate".
Norris has been relieved of duty since January 22.