Cop union chief: SWAT penalties unfair, too harsh

Cop union chief: SWAT penalties unfair, too harsh

Wednesday, March 12, 2008  Jersey Journal

The president of the union representing Hoboken's rank and file officers is describing the departmental charges filed by the city against his members in connection with the SWAT team scandal as unfair and is accusing the media coverage of creating a "lynch-mob mentality."

"The level of recommended discipline is not only excessive but also unfair," said Vince Lombardi, president of the Policeman's Benevolent Association, in a recent statement.

The city announced last week that nine cops have been accused of violating several provisions of state administrative code and departmental rules and procedures. Officials said sanctions against the cops range from a 10-day suspension to termination, but would not be specific.

Lombardi refused to say which members of his union face administrative charges.

"It is obvious that the level of discipline recommended by the city is political pandering motivated by distorted and relentless news media hype," Lombardi said. "The overall media created a lynch-mob mentality throughout the community and within City Hall."

He said the union is encouraging officers to defend themselves against the charges, and that a PBA lawyer would be available to them.

City officials could not be reached for comment.

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