PATERSON, NJ - Referring to it as "yet another frustrating and sad day for Paterson," Mayor Andre Sayegh spoke out on Tuesday following the guilty plea for former Paterson police officer Frank Toledo in federal court.
"The behavior for which he pleaded guilty is racist and reprehensible and will not be tolerated by this Administration," Sayegh said, adding that Toledo has been terminated and that "the same fate will await others who exhibit such behavior."
Sayegh sought to assuage concerns about such conduct being commonplace within the Department saying that "such conduct unfairly characterizes honorable police officers and erodes the trust between the community and the police, which is essential in cities like Paterson."
The mayor, who has sought to make public safety a cornerstone of his time in office, said that he is committed to changing the culture in the Paterson Police Department and that his office is "in the process of commissioning an independent audit of the Police Department" and is seeking to provide funding for body worn cameras in this year's city budge so that interactions with the police can be recorded.
"I want to thank the Public Safety Director and Police Chief for cooperating with federal authorities to help rid our Police Department of those who display such egregious, racist and corrupt behavior," Sayegh concluded. "There is still a lot of work ahead of us to continue restoring the trust between the community and police, and my Administration is laser focused on these efforts."
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