Police Abuse

NJ Police Union President Writes His Mayor Five Tickets While on His Side Job

Police union backing police chief the mayor is trying to demote.

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Hillside

The mayor of Hillside, NJ, Angela Garretson, received five tickets in one day from Matthew Casterline, a Hillside police officer who serves as president of the local police union and was at the time working a side job on a construction site (an "outside overtime job"), as NJ.com reports.

Casterline cited Garretson for disregarding a cop's hand signals, driving through a safety zone, improper passing, obstructing traffic, and talking on a cellphone, according to NJ.com, which reports that Casterline filed the tickets the day after allegedly witnessing the violations while working at the construction site.

The police union is in an ongoing feud over Garretson's decision to demote the police chief, Louis Panarese, who the town council later re-instated. Garretson sued, insisting she had the authority to make the decision on who should serve as police chief, not the town council, which also passed a vote of no confidence against the mayor last year. Paranese, meanwhile, sued the mayor and the city for the demotion and lost wages. Garretson decided to demote Paranese because he never passed a civil service exam, something Garretson's predecessor didn't care about.

The Hillside municipal court says in order to avoid a conflict of interest it has sent the summonses to a nearby town for processing. There is no data on how many police officers receive traffic summonses in New Jersey, but the state does have the highest median income for police officers in the country.

I once had a Newark cop working off-duty (but in his uniform) as security in the apartment building where my dad lives threaten to quit the job on the spot to arrest me over moving a chair out of my dad's apartment after-hours; he claimed the lease prohibits that, but I told him I didn't live there anymore, wasn't on any lease, and hadn't seen the rule posted anywhere. I kept asking him if I could leave and he kept telling me to drop the chair. I told him I suspected he'd arrest me for dumping if I did that. He backed down when my wife showed up. I started the process to file a complaint about him but quit after receiving a letter from the Newark Police Department warning me if I was found to be untruthful in my complaint I could be charged with perjury. There was no footage of the incident and I know better than to get into a he said-he said with a cop. I suppose I should consider myself lucky that he didn't know, or didn't care to, drum up a summons the next day.

Related: Police unions produce rules that protect bad actors, that's how they work

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  1. Is New Jerksey the terrible place it is because of its proximity to Filthadelphia or is it the other way around?

    1. North Jersey is NYC.
      South Jersey is Philly.

      North Jersey is worse than South Jersey.

      1. NJ cities like Camden, Trenton, and Newark make NYC and Philly look like paradise by comparison.

  2. I spent most of that last paragraph waiting for the officer to ask for $3.50.

    1. It was about that time I noticed that the police officer was a three story tall dinosaur from the Mesozoic Era.

    2. Ed’s wife: “Oh, lord, he was mad!”

      Ed: “Damn right I was mad!”

      Ed’s wife: “Not you, the monster! He was ’bout to whoop yo’ ass!”

  3. I need to see a photo of the rest of her body just in case she has spikey tentacles coming out of her vag or something, but right now, I’m staunchly on Team Wood.

      1. I looked her up – her other photos aren’t nearly as flattering as the pic attached to this post.

        1. Just did a quick Bing Images search on her. Sure, I wouldn’t label her a 10, but I’d say she’s a solid 7 or 8. That may be my bias for dark women pushing the scale a little.

  4. I started the process to file a complaint about him but quit after receiving a letter from the Newark Police Department warning me if I was found to be untruthful in my complaint I could be charged with perjury

    I’m at a loss here. How did they know where to send that letter, or what kind, if the complaint hadn’t been made yet?
    Is there some sort of minutiae there between the interaction and the letter that wasn’t mentioned?

    1. I started the process to file a complaint about him

      I interpreted that to mean that Ed had contacted the dept., and given them some basic information after which, an officer calls you back and asks you questions about the incident.

      I filed a complained with Seattle PD but about the time PD started getting back with me, Dear Mom went in the hospital and died, so I really wasn’t checking voicemail. Sadly, the complaint ended up being ‘unjustified’ due to my lack of response, so the fault lies with me. But had I gotten a letter like the one Ed got, probably would have called a lawyer and then gone on full-court press.

      1. Ah! Yes,you are probably correct on that. I have in my mind that starting the process usually finishes it (ask for instructions on filing a complaint, be given a/the form, fill it out right there).

        It now occurs to me that many PD’s don’t operate this way (according to just this video alone).

    2. Yeah, I called the department about filing a complaint, they took my address and then I got the letter.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a standard form letter they send out to every complainant. It’s obviously designed to have a chilling effect. Since when does a filed complaint equate to a deposition given under oath?

        1. That, too. It’s more likely they would go the route of busting you for filing a false report, or, whatever your particular state allows.

          Tomato, to-mah-to.

          Sorry to hear that, Ed. Utter bullshit.

  5. I started the process to file a complaint about him but quit after receiving a letter from the Newark Police Department warning me if I was found to be untruthful in my complaint I could be charged with perjury.

    So obvious it was left unstated: “whereas if we are untruthful in responding to your complaint, we will laugh in your face then laugh some more over drinks later”.

  6. I suppose I should consider myself lucky that he didn’t know, or didn’t care to, drum up a summons the next day.

    Hell, you should consider yourself lucky you weren’t shot multiple times for brandishing a chair at him and making him “feel threatened.”

  7. RE: NJ Police Union President Writes His Mayor Five Tickets While on His Side Job
    “Casterline cited Garretson for disregarding a cop’s hand signals, driving through a safety zone, improper passing, obstructing traffic, and talking on a cellphone, according to NJ.com.”

    It is blatantly obvious this woman, the mayor is hardened violent criminal judged by her dangerous and potentially lethal activities today. The police officer should have shot her to death to ensure this vicious miscreant would never soil the streets of NJ ever again. However, one must applaud the police officer for his restraint and mercy during this most troubling incident. All too often one hears of cops shooting innocent people who are shooting at them, threatening innocent life or trying to flee the scene of a major felony. Those deaths by police officers are indeed tragic, but being faced with a woman that drives through a safety zone, disregards a cop’s hand signals, passes improperly, obstructs traffic and talks on the cell phone would be considered a justifiable homicide in any law book. This police officer’s professionalism in handling a potentially explosive situation is commendable, and hopefully, other law enforcement personnel will take note of what he did and follow suit.
    Time will tell.

  8. I once had a Newark cop working off-duty (but in his uniform) as security in the apartment building where my dad lives threaten to quit the job on the spot to arrest me over moving a chair out of my dad’s apartment after-hours; he claimed the lease prohibits that … He backed down when my wife showed up.

    It’s clear who wears the pants in your family.

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  11. Pigs shouldn’t be allowed to work these “side jobs” in uniform. Whether I want them actually “serving” me is irrelevant; that’s the system we live in. But since they are, and since they are my employees, I don’t want my so-called “civil service” tainted by a side gig at Wal-Mart on the weekends. To the greatest extent possible, and it’s VERY VERY little, have some dignity, pigs.

  12. “Halberd”. *Pulls down Fedora and flips up collar on trench coat*

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