Monitor to oversee New Jersey town’s police after questionable email

Bergen County officials named a temporary monitor Friday to oversee a town’s police department after its chief sent an email that appeared to support racial profiling.

Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox took a temporary leave after the December 2014 email was released by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey on Tuesday. The group said it obtained the email anonymously last week.

The email said that profiling has its place in law enforcement when used correctly and applied fairly. It said officers should “check out suspicious black people in white neighborhoods” because “black gang members” from a nearby town commit burglaries in Wyckoff, a mostly white suburb, 30 miles west of New York.

The email also said New York police stop white kids in black neighborhoods because “they know they are there to buy drugs.”

Acting Bergen County prosecutor Gurbir Grewal and Wyckoff’s mayor announced Friday they have signed a memorandum of understanding and that Timothy Condon, a captain in the prosecutor’s office with 23 years’ experience in law enforcement, will act as monitor. Condon previously served as monitor of Hackensack’s police department, according to the prosecutor’s office.

He will monitor the department during the prosecutor’s investigation and until the office terminates the agreement.

Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy and Grewal said in a statement this week that the email appears to violate the attorney general’s policy strictly prohibiting racial profiling by police officers.

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