IRVINGTON, NJ — The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office took control of the Internal Affairs unit of the Irvington Police Department, it announced in a press release on June 22. No reason was given for the action.
“The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has taken over the day-to-day operations of the Internal Affairs unit of the Irvington Police Department,” the release read. “Personnel from the Professional Standards Bureau of the ECPO will be assigned to the Irvington Internal Affairs unit and will direct the operations of the unit and be responsible for all internal affairs investigations. Irvington Police Director Tracey Bowers remains in place.”
ECPO public information officer Katherine Carter said in an email to the Irvington Herald on June 24 that the takeover went into effect immediately. She could not provide additional details due to an ongoing investigation.
Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss deferred comment to business administrator Musa Malik, who said in a phone interview with the Herald on June 24 that the township would not be commenting.
“We don’t have a formal statement at this time,” Malik said. “Because of the active investigation by the prosecutor’s office, we aren’t providing comment, on the counsel of our attorneys.”
Bowers did not return a request for comment by press time on June 28.
This is not the first time the IPD unit has been investigated by the ECPO. In 2014, two former officers filed a lawsuit against the township and then-police Chief Michael Chase with allegations of retaliation for beginning a misconduct investigation against Chase.