Official Statement Condemning the Killing of George Floyd
Written by Chief Theodore D. Conley, Scotch Plains Police Department and Richard Trigo, Fanwood Police Department
We are writing this statement to the residents of Scotch Plains and Fanwood to announce our official condemnation of the actions of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the other officers who stood by and watched while Chauvin knelt on Mr. George Floyd’s neck until he lost consciousness and ultimately died. We have watched that video from multiple angles, and cannot find one single justification for why any individual, in handcuffs, not resisting, is put in the prone position with an officer kneeling with his full weight on his neck, for over 9 minutes! Neither of us have ever been part of, been witness too, nor given approval for any kind of training that would authorize a tactic such as this to be used by any of our officers. We fully agree with the arrest and charges that were put on Derek Chauvin, and anticipate that the other officers who stood by and did nothing to offer assistance to Mr. Floyd, will also find themselves being charged, as they should be.
The members of the Scotch Plains and Fanwood Police Departments have made many strides in an effort to build a trusting relationship between the residents and visitors to our towns. We, along with every other police department in Union County, under the direction of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, have implemented a body worn camera program where all of our patrol officers and other officers who are in contact with the public must wear a body worn camera and record all encounters with members of the public. For every incident that involves a use of force, the video and reports are reviewed by the Platoon Commander and then by the Division Commander to make sure that the proper use of force was used and that no more force than that which was necessary was used. We also have our commanding officers randomly review videos for every one of the officers that serve in their command. We have used this to make sure that the Commanding Officers know what their officers are doing on a daily basis and also use several of the videos as training tools if we find an officer doing something contrary to the accepted practices of either of our departments. This program offers even more transparency between our officers and the members of the public that we serve. All of the officers in New Jersey also must have Use of Force, Biased Incident, and Racially Influenced Policing training on an annual basis. Over the last three years, Fair and Impartial Policing was implemented and all officers in Union County have had to participate in this training to make sure that policing is done on an even and fair basis for all. We both meet with the members of the Ministerium on a monthly basis to keep open lines of communication at all times with the leaders of the Houses of Worship in our communities as well as other township leaders. We also meet with the group Social Justice Matters in an effort to improve the race relations between members of our communities and members of our police departments. We have improved upon our community policing efforts by implementing the Cops and Kids program where officers from both Scotch Plains and Fanwood and the school children from both communities get to interact on a fun level and build relationships that last a lifetime with our officers. We also have a very strong LEAD program, (that took the place of DARE), to keep building on the positive relationships between the young members of our communities and our officers. These, along with several other programs and activities that our officers have participated in over the last several years, are a great foundation for a very strong relationship that we have built with the members of our communities. We hope that the horrific actions taken by Derek Chauvin and the other Minneapolis officers do not destroy the relationship that has taken us years to build. We feel that we have to let the Justice System take its course and that ultimately justice will be ser ved to the Floyd family and to all who have felt betrayed and let down by incidents such as these.
We are asking all of the residents of Scotch Plains and Fanwood to not let the strong relationship that we have built over several years to be destroyed by the completely horrific and inexcusable actions of Minneapolis police officer Chauvin and the other officers who stood by and watched without having the common human decency, not to mention the official duty to act, to come to the aid of Mr. George Floyd and save his life, which they and all law enforcement officers have taken an oath to do. We truly understand the pain that many members of our communities feel after bearing witness to the horrible way that Mr. George Floyd’s life was taken from him. We, and the members of the Scotch Plains and Fanwood Police Departments, completely and whole heartedly condemn the actions of Derek Chauvin and the other officers who stood by and did nothing. We welcome the opportunity to meet with the public to continue to foster relationships between the police and public we serve.
Officer Jason Fiore began his law enforcement career in February 1995 at the Jersey City Police Academy. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the patrol division with the Jersey City Police Department in the city’s West District. This district is the 2nd busiest in the state, based on call volume. After 3 years in patrol, Jason was transferred to the JCPD Narcotics Squad, a unit in the highly respected Street Crimes Division. For 7 years, he was involved in over 1,200 city wide arrests that included the apprehension of armed felons and interstate drug seizures. He assisted a task force of DEA agents involved in tracking high level drug dealers. Additionally, Jason was a member of the Neighborhood Task Force that strives to increase relationships between the police department and the community members.
In 2001, Off. Fiore was involved in and commended for his involvement in the 9/11 Terroristic attacks by participating in the triage and transportation of injured emergency responders and civilians who had been taken via boat to Jersey City’s Liberty State Park. It is during this time that he and his family moved to Scotch Plains.
In 2004, Off. Fiore transferred to the Scotch Plains Police Dept. After being assigned to the patrol division, he was transferred to Detective where he was involved in criminal investigations primarily based on fraud cases, burglary and theft cases, and assaults. He was also a member of the New Jersey Association of Gang Officers. Off. Fiore was also the narcotics liaison for the department. Since 2017, Jason has been assigned to the Traffic Unit, where he officially ended his career in law enforcement.
We want to extend our gratitude to Off. Fiore for being a member of the Scotch Plains Police Department, serving the residents of Scotch Plains for many years. We wish him and his family the best of luck on his future endeavors!
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We are going to begin enforcing parking restrictions again in the downtown area starting tomorrow, May 27th. We will be working with all of our local businesses to come up with the best plan for allowing certain parking spots to be used for 'curb side pick up only' (which will be well marked).
As more and more non-essential businesses begin to open up, we ask that everyone is patient with the process. We are going to begin working with or local businesses to see how we can assist them with many of them opening up in 'curb side pick up' status. We are trying to make sure that all of our businesses have every opportunity to succeed and get as close to normal as they can.
Patrons can assist by: Being patient, practice social distancing and wear face coverings when inside businesses. (Face coverings are recommended outside as well when you are within 6 feet of other people).
Governor Murphy's Executive Orders
Please visit the following site for a list of all of the Executive Orders issued by Gov. Murphy:
Being promoted to the rank of Chief of Police of the Scotch Plains Police Department was one of the most humbling accomplishments in my career. It is truly a pleasure working with the men and women of the Scotch Plains Police Department, I have never met a group of more committed individuals who take the safety and security of the citizens and visitors to our Township more than them. We strive on a daily basis to make everyone feel comfortable in their daily lives while at the same time letting them know that we are constantly on guard protecting them and their families as if they were our own.
The Chief's Administrative Assistant is Virnez Stephens. If you have any questions or concerns that you have for Chief Conley or another matter that concerns the Administrative Division, she can be reached at (908) 322-7100 x102, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“To deliver effective police services through the deployment of dedicated, ethical officers who are provided with sufficient guidance and discipline, and to balance the responsibility of protection and enforcement with the limits necessarily placed upon policing in a free society.”
Currently the Department currently has (48) sworn law enforcement officers and (4) civilian personnel and has several divisions that handle the wide variety of services it provides.
The Scotch Plains Police Department has achieved the: Police Agency Re-Accreditation Status, from the NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police as of October 10, 2019. We are very proud of this honor and look forward to receiving
our certificate soon.
Only about one-third of the law enforcement departments in the State of New Jersey have achieved the status of accreditation, which gets renewed every three
The Scotch Plains Police Department has deployed body-worn cameras to its patrol officers. The public should be aware that anything said to an officer equipped with a Body Worn Camera (BWC) could be recorded.
The audio and video of the police-civilian encounter will be accessible for future law enforcement use in accordance with the provisions of the State Attorney General Directive 2015-1 regarding the use of BWCs.