Hopewell Township police officer cited in statewide major discipline report for 2022

A Hopewell Township Police Department police officer was among approximately 350 law enforcement personnel statewide who faced major disciplinary action from their agencies in 2022, according to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.

Hopewell Township Patrol Officer Joseph McNeil was suspended for three months – 45 working days – for violation of rules, regulations and standard operating procedure, officials said.

The Hopewell Township police officer failed to investigate an incident, mishandled evidence and was insubordinate to his direct supervisor, officials said.

The release of information on McNeil and the approximately 350 law enforcement personnel – from police officers to corrections officers and sheriff’s officers – is contained in the Major Discipline Report for 2022.

The Major Discipline Report for 2022, which was released May 10, was provided under a directive issued by former Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The directive calls for listing the names of law enforcement officers who were subject to major discipline for infractions. The report is released annually.

Major discipline is defined as a police officer’s actions that result in termination, demotion or suspension for more than five days.

Grewal issued the directive in June 2021. It was made in response to a New Jersey Supreme Court decision authorizing the release of certain police disciplinary information.

The first report was released and covered half of 2020. Reports were listed for all of 2021 and 2022. The reports list the law enforcement officer subject to major discipline and a brief description of the officer’s action that led to being disciplined.

The list of infractions that would warrant major disciplinary action include discriminatory conduct, filing a false report and intentionally performing an improper search, officials said.

The most frequent offenses listed in the 2022 report were related to attendance, including lateness and calling out of work too close to the start of the officer’s shift.

Use-of-force violations accounted for about 4% of all major disciplinary actions for 2022.

The report reflects the Office of the Attorney General’s continuing commitment to increased transparency and accountability in the law enforcement profession, said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin.

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