Arbitrator Partially Overturns Suspension for Newark Police Officer
Tuesday, January, 28, 2014
A 40-hour suspension handed down to Newark, New Jersey Police Officer Michael Trotter has been partially overturned after an official arbitrator assigned to investigate the case determined that the Newark Police Department had not met the burden of proof in its allegations of misconduct against the officer.
The incident involved a crash Officer Trotter was involved in when his police cruiser hit a fire hydrant and light pole while he was in pursuit of a suspect. The Newark Police Department determined that Trotter had failed to insert a new data card into his cruiser’s dashboard camera, had not worn his seatbelt, had not informed dispatch of his intent to pursue with lights and sirens, and had not maintained control of the vehicle properly. The department handed Trotter a 40-hour suspension as a result of these oversights.
The arbitrator, after careful consideration of the evidence, determined that the police department had failed to submit sufficient evidence to prove its misconduct allegations, and overturned 24 hours of the 40 hour suspension as a result. Although the arbitrator let 16 hours of the punishment stand, he ordered it converted to an oral reprimand so Officer Trotter can return to work. Under this decision, the Newark Police Department will have to reimburse 24 hours of pay to Officer Trotter as well.