Archive for April 25th, 2010

The Thin Blue Line

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

 The latest from the "Who guards the guardians?" department:

N.J. Police Looks the Other Way After Fellow Trooper Drinks and Drives

Trenton, NJ.  April 25 — It had all the makings of a routine motor vehicle stop. Police officer Ronald Gorneau spotted a silver Toyota swerving and pulled it over. The driver, Sheila McKaig, admitted she had drunk "a lot" before getting behind the wheel, according to the incident report.

Then she told Gorneau she was a state trooper, and the stop in Hamilton Township, Atlantic County, was no longer routine. Instead of being charged, McKaig was driven to the township’s police station, where fellow troopers picked her up.

It was not an isolated incident.  In fact, it was the third time in three months in early 2008 that an off-duty McKraig was stopped by Hamilton police after drinking, according to a State Police document.  Each time no blood-alcohol test was given, no charges were filed and no ticket was written.  Today McKraig is still on the road as a state trooper, a position she has held for nine years.

All told, McKaig was stopped 10 times for various offenses over a 14-month period, but she has never received a traffic ticket in New Jersey, according to police records and a spokeswoman for the state judiciary.

Law enforcement experts call it "professional courtesy" when officers give fellow cops a pass they would not give the average driver. At the same time, however, New Jersey has been on a sustained crackdown on drunken driving. In 2008, police arrested 28,705 people for driving under the influence, and 154 people died in accidents involving at least one intoxicated person… 

Thanks to Gerry Rodman.