Vernon Township

21 Church Street, Vernon, NJ 07462
Phone: 973.764.4055

Internal Affairs

The Vernon Township Police Department has a formal procedure for investigating complaints which mirrors the policies established by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. Our policy ensures fairness and due process protection to all parties involved.

We accept and investigate all complaints of alleged officer misconduct or wrongdoing from any citizen. This includes reports from anonymous sources, juveniles and persons under arrest or in custody.

Following a thorough and impartial examination of the available factual information, the officer will either be exonerated or held responsible for the alleged misconduct. Discipline will be administered according to the degree of misconduct.

For information on how to file a civilian complaint, please download the Civilian Information sheet in preferred language:

English    Spanish    Portuguese   Hindi   Arabic   Polish   Chinese   Korean   Haitian  Tagalog   Vietnamese

To initiate a complaint, please download our Internal Affairs Complaint Report form in preferred language:

English    Spanish    Portuguese  Hindi   Arabic   Polish  Chinese  Korean  Haitian   Tagalog     Vietnamese

Once the completed form is saved to your hard drive, you can then use your e-mail account to attach the form to an e-mail and submit it electronically to IA@vernonpolice.com. If you prefer, it can be printed out and submitted via postal mail or delivered in-person to the following address:

Vernon Township Police Department
Internal Affairs
21 Church Street
Vernon, NJ 07462

We treat all complaints equally regardless of whether or not they are filled out anonymously or with a name. However, please keep in mind that we can investigate best when we have all available information and have the ability to contact you with further questions, if needed.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact our Internal Affairs unit at 973.764.6155.

Vernon Township Police Internal Affairs and Discipline policy

2020 Internal Affairs Summary

As per the Attorney General guidelines, the following paragraph summarizes the internal affairs complaints filed against employees of the Vernon Police Department that were investigated in 2020.

There were twelve total internal affairs complaints filed during the calendar year 2020. Of the twelve complaints, eight were filed by citizens and five were agency initiated. Most of the complaints have been investigated and have been closed out, while three remain open active investigations.  Two of the three open investigation are currently being investigated while the third was diverted to the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office for investigation by their agency. Of the nine closed complaints:  three resulted in sustained findings, four were exonerated, and two were not sustained.  The three open investigations have dispositions pending. 

2021 Internal Affairs Summary

As per the Attorney General guidelines, the following paragraph summarizes the internal affairs complaints filed against employees of the Vernon Police Department that were investigated in 2021.

There were two internal affairs complaints filed during the calendar year 2021, but consisted of four officers total. Of the two complaints, one was filed by a citizen and the other was agency initiated. Both of the complaints have been investigated and closed out.  The results of the complaints against the four officers are as follows: two were unfounded, one was sustained, and one was not sustained.  There is still one open internal affairs investigation from 2020.  This investigation was diverted to the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office for investigation by their agency and resulted in criminal charges of Criminal Sexual Contact and Official Misconduct in May of 2020. Since the date of the charges, the officer has been and remains suspended without pay pending disposition of these charges. 

2022 Internal Affairs Summary

As per the Attorney General guidelines, the following paragraph summarizes the internal affairs complaints filed against employees of the Vernon Police Department that were investigated in 2022.

There were nine internal affairs complaints filed during the calendar year 2022, seven of which were against sworn police officers and two for civilian police employees.  Of the nine complaints, four were filed by citizens and the other five were agency initiated.  All of the complaints have been investigated and closed out.  The results of the complaints are as follows: two were unfounded, one was not sustained, one was exonerated and five resulted in sustained violations.  None of these sustained violations incurred major discipline.  There is still one open internal affairs investigation from 2020.  This investigation was diverted to the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office for investigation by their agency and resulted in criminal charges of Criminal Sexual Contact and Official Misconduct in May of 2020. Since the date of the charges, the officer has been and remains suspended without pay pending disposition of these charges. 

2022 Major Discipline Annual Report

2022 Annual IA Summary

2023 Internal Affairs Summary

As per the Attorney General guidelines, the following paragraph summarizes the internal affairs complaints filed against employees of the Vernon Police Department that were investigated in 2023.

There were six internal affairs complaints filed during the calendar year 2023, five of which were against sworn police officers and one for a civilian police employee.  All of the six complaints were filed by citizens.  All of the complaints have been investigated and closed out.  The results of the complaints are as follows: five were unfounded, and one was administratively closed. Since none of the resulted in sustained violations, there was no discipline imposed. 

There was one open internal affairs investigation from 2020 that was officially completed during 2023.  This investigation had originally been diverted to the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office for investigation by their agency, and resulted in criminal charges of Criminal Sexual Contact and Official Misconduct in May of 2020.  The charges stemmed from the officer’s unwanted actions with a female after he was involved as a responding officer to an incident involving said female.  Since the date of the charges, the officer was suspended without pay pending disposition of these charges.  On January 5, 2023, Officer Rivera pled guilty to two counts of 2nd degree Conspiracy to commit Official Misconduct charges.  As part of his plea agreement, Rivera was sentenced to a New Jersey State Prison term of 5 years, with each count running con-current.  He was also terminated from the Vernon Police Department and barred from future public employment as per state statute NJSA 2C:51-2.    

2023 Major Discipline Annual Report

2023 Annual IA Summary

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Vernon Township

21 Church Street
Vernon, NJ 07462

Phone: 973.764.4055 

Township Hours

Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Police

Emergencies Dial 9-1-1
Non-Emergencies Dial 973-764-6155

Links

Current Agendas

Township Council

Land Use Board