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Belleville Police Officer Suspended For Allegedly Sleeping On The Job

Department learned of photo of napping cop after it was shared on social media.

A Belleville officer has been suspended after being photographed asleep in his squad car, authorities said.

The Belleville resident who took the photo told Patch they spotted the officer, identified as Jesse McKeough, sleeping in a Stop & Shop parking lot around 2 a.m. earlier in September.

Belleville Police Chief Joe Rotonda said members of the department learned of the photo when it was posted on Facebook. No formal complaints were filed with the department, Rotonda said. McKeough, who graduated from the Essex County Police Academy in March, was suspended in connection with the photograph.

“Obviously, we weren’t happy about it,” Rotonda said. 

Rotonda said the officer was working a part time job when he was photographed sleeping. He said his department was “proactive” when it learned of the photo.

“Whether you're working for the township as a police officer or in a part time capacity, we won't tolerate such behavior,” Rotonda said.  “And we dealt with it.”

Chooch September 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM
The person taking the picture is probably a convict. Considering the location. Oh wait, all of Belleville is turning to sh*t!
chris September 25, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Robert Rothchild September 25, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Well I heard from a good source that the person taking the picture was arrested with 30+ bags of heroin and a warrant, hmm outstanding citizen I guess! These guys work long hours and risk their lives everyday!
Robert Rothchild September 25, 2013 at 03:51 PM
I agree Chris! 100% right how about ask to see if he's ok?! Let's not judge this guy! But last I remember heroin isn't exactly Tylenol!
Heisenberg September 26, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Wow, what a horribly written article. The Chief-of-Police's last name is spelled different ways throughout, commas aren't used where appropriate and, what I believe is intended to be "won't," has no apostrophe. Also, that dude totally deserves the suspension.
David Yennior September 27, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Perhaps the officer was taking a break/nap.
e.edmontson September 29, 2013 at 09:25 AM
The issue is that this officer is in his marked squad car in full uniform and in full view of the public. As such, he's got to be aware and alert. This has happened on NYC subways as well where an officer in full uniform was asleep on subway. Next thing he knew the picture of him sleeping was in the NY Daily News. There is a new trend to ridicule public employees in the media with pictures like these. Same with the transit system. It's best for employees not to allow this to happen.
chris September 29, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Still the convict who took the picture, took it for one reason, to humiliate those who have arrested him in the past. he has no compassion for human life what so ever, otherwise he would of checked on the officer. this happened also in newark around 2000 when the chief of police drove by an officer, though he was sleeping, at 7:30 in the morning, and kept driving by. in reality the officer was writing a accident report. but shame on the chief for not checking up on one of his own, instead he tried to charge the officer. Outcome was officer was cleared and chief had EGG on his face.
chris September 29, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Larry Schmidt October 08, 2013 at 08:20 PM
a cop sleeping on the job because he is tired. take the night OFF. what would happen if he was shot while SLEEPING more tax payers money down the drain.
Chooch January 09, 2014 at 03:35 PM
Also, Stop & Shop or that shopping center pays for the police to be there, technically off duty on their days off. It's called outside employment.


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