Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stratford cop writes up fellow cop for drunk driving.

I often report of incidents where police officers give preferential treatment to fellow officers.  This is not one of those times.

From reading a Camden County Prosecutor's Office "Special Prosecutions Summary Report" on-line here, I learned that an unidentified Camden Metro Police Officer was suspended for 47 days for having a motor vehicle accident while allegedly driving intoxicated in Stratford Borough (Camden County) on October 26, 2013.  Harper pleaded guilty on January 10, 2014 and was assesses a total of $664 and had his license suspended for 90 days.  The court's disposition is on-line here.

On January 16, 2015, I submitted an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request to Stratford Borough and learned from documents provided that the police officer charged with drunk driving was Michael L. Harper, Jr.  (Since drunk driving cases are routinely reported to newspapers' "police blotter" section by local law enforcement (example here), I don't feel that it's inappropriate for me to publicly identify Officer Harper.)  

Harper was charged with drunk driving and careless driving by Stratford Police Officer Steven Schmidt.  Schmidt's investigation report is on-line here.  Compare Officer Schmidt's treatment of Harper to the Northfield (Atlantic County) Police Department's treatment Egg Harbor Township Officer Jeffrey Lancaster, as described on my blog here.