NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Police Chief Anthony Buccelli, Jr. has provided a statement in response to Monday's recount of a "questionable" traffic stop by Officer Guerreiro at a borough council meeting by a former out-of-state trooper. The former trooper addressed the Mayor and Council claiming the stop was questionable and based on racial profiling.
The Chief's statement said:
The men and women of the NPPD take pride in their community policing efforts and are committed to helping all humanity regardless of who you are. I’ve seen my officers go above and beyond the call of duty by helping and treating others with care, concern and dignity. Our agency has a robust annual training program which includes fair and impartial policing. The New Providence Police Department is accredited by the NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police. We are part of a small group (less than 1%) of New Jersey agencies that have maintained their accredited status for over 10 years. We are inspected on a regular basis to ensure delivery of the highest standards of police work.
Our Patrol Officers are fully equipped with body cameras that capture both video and audio when interacting with the public. As a young patrol officer 30 years ago, I never had this equipment that could protect me in my workplace from frivolous accusations.
During this particular incident, two officers recorded the stop in question. We are a transparent agency. The matter was investigated through NPPD Internal Affairs procedures under the guidelines of the NJ State Attorney General’s Office. I, as well as others, have reviewed the video footage in its entirety. It is a public record and has been released to the media outlets upon demand.
Keep in mind that Officer Guerriero and his supervisor Sergeant Don Sretenovic had no idea who they may encounter that day or on any other given day for that matter. If you watch the video closely, you will see how dark the windows are tinted on the vehicle that was stopped. It is apparent that Patrolman Guerriero would never have been able to tell what the driver looked like.
I ask that you have faith in our process to eradicate any wrongdoings within our agency.
I can assure you that the officers involved in this case did their jobs with professionalism.
It is said that good leaders lead from the front. I believe that. However, there are times when you need to stand behind your officers, and in this case they have my complete support.
In closing, I wish for all mankind to have patience and empathy for others. This is a trying and difficult time for police officers and the citizens we serve.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Chief Anthony Buccelli, Jr.