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.”