Police Abuse

NJ Cop Gets Promoted, Tries to Run Over Councilman, Suspended Without Pay


J. Sharpe James

Monique Smith of the Irvington Police Department (IPD), a former internal affairs investigator promoted to Captain on Monday afternoon, ended up allegedly trying to run over Newark, N.J. councilman John James just a few hours later. NJ.com reports:

James was close to his home in the area of Elizabeth Avenue and Pomona Avenue when he was confronted by Smith around 11 p.m., according to Glover. As she yelled at him, James got into his car and drove off.

Smith got into her personal vehicle and followed the councilman, allegedly striking his vehicle several times. James then proceeded to his parents' home on Wilbur Street, where his father, former longtime Newark mayor Sharpe James, intervened on his behalf, Glover said.

Police were called to the scene, but were unable to locate Smith until early this morning.

Smith was arrested on a number of charges including aggravated assault, stalking, harassment, criminal mischief and weapons-related charges. She was suspended by the IPD, without pay. According to NJ.com, Smith, who was most recently with the personnel division of the department, made $116,252 in 2013. Irvington is a town of just 53,000 people with among the highest violent crime rates in the state. Irvington relies in part on state funding to plug holes in its budget this year. The high pay for police officers of questionable effectiveness, however, is not unusual for Irvington. New Jersey has the best paid police officers in the country. The median salary in 2010 was $90,672. That's a "policeman's salary."