BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield Police Director Samuel DeMaio said his department respects the decision of the Newark Superior Court jury which found two former Bloomfield police officers guilty of multiple charges stemming from a June 2012 roadside stop.
“It is not a reflection of the hard-working men and women officers doing their jobs,” DeMaio said in a telephone interview earlier this week.
Former officers Sean Courter and Orlando Trinidad each face mandatory five-year prison terms for official misconduct in the cover-up of the Parkway arrest of Bloomfield resident Marcus Jeter. Jeter was exonerated of the former officers’ multiple charges against him following the arrest, after a dashboard recording, as seen from Trinidad’s patrol car, was discovered.
DeMaio said police incidents, such as the one in which Trinidad and Courter became embroiled, can be avoided through police training, personnel evaluations and the disciplinary process. He said on the second Tuesday of every month, a committee of police commanders and Internal Affairs personnel review videos and any documented use of force by police.
“On the third Tuesdays of each month, we also review police-involved actions,” he said. “That’s when a police car hits another car.”
DeMaio also said that on the first Tuesdays of each month, a police-awards commission meets to evaluate police actions worthy of commendation.
“It cuts both ways,” he said of the monthly reviews.
Judge Michael Ravin, revoked Trinidad and Courter’s bail after the jury decision. They are in the Essex County Correctional Facility until sentencing on Jan. 11.
“Anytime you lose a member of the department under any circumstance, it is like losing a member of the family,” DeMaio said. “It’s heart wrenching and you can’t help but to feel for the families of the officers. We as an agency wish nothing but the best for the Trinidad and Courter families and hope that they someday put this behind them and move on successfully with their lives.”