NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A city police officer with a bad habit of not wearing his department-issued nameplate has been discplined for violating the New Brunswick Police Department’s (NBPD) uniform policy on multiple occasions.
An Internal Affairs investigation sparked by this reporter found that Officer Jeffrey Monticello had failed to wear his name badge, a mandatory part of the standard uniform.
The complaint was made via email on August 26, after this reporter happened upon officer Jeffrey Monticello wearing no nameplate at the downtown train station, and decided to alert the NBPD’s Internal Affairs division.
Nearly one month later, the agency confirmed that the officer would be punished, without identifying him by name.
“The investigation into a possible equipment/uniform violation regarding Officer #7269 has been completed,” responded Captain JT Miller, the Commander of NBPD’s Internal Affairs.
Miller also doubles the department’s press person, dealing directly with this reporter on a regular basis.
“The allegation(s) have been sustained and the officer received the appropriate discipline,” Miller wrote. “Thank you for your interest in this matter.”
It is not the first time this reporter has successfully gotten New Brunswick officers reprimanded for misbehavior on the job.
In 2014, two officers were caught by the author of this article improperly disposing of court documents, specifically ticket two ticket books, including one that still had blank tickets in it.
New Brunswick Today recovered the ticket books and brought them to the July 2 City Council meeting, shocking members of the city administration. Miller confiscated them and launched an investigation.
Despite being jailed on a false charge before being able to give a statement to internal affairs, the author of this article still spoke to then-Sgt. Amish Shah about the wrongdoing on July 10, 2014.
After months of silence, the police department responded to a New Brunswick Today inquiry by declaring that two officers would be punished, and sending this reporter a thank you letter.
Monticello has been with the department since April 2005, and made an annual salary of $96,879 as of 2014.
This reporter’s complaint was also supplemented to include a reference to famous footage of an out-of-control party that police responded to in April 2013 on Delafield Street.
During the crackdown on the infamous “Delafest” block party, Monticello is shown carrying around a fire-extinguisher-size canister of pepper spray.
“Clear the streets!” he yells approximately 5 minutes and 30 seconds into the video, which has been viewed more than 600,000 times between YouTube and Worldstarhiphop.com.
Clips were also shown on all of the major New York television stations, and screenshots were included in online news articles from as far away as the United Kingdom.
But it was not until more than two years later that the video would come back to haunt him. In it, Monticello is clearly committing the same uniform violation he repeated on August 26, 2015.
New Brunswick Today followed up with Miller, asking whether investigators outed the author of this article as the man who made the complaint.
“The officer involved was Jeffrey Monticello, and yes he would be made aware of the nature of the complaint and the events which led to it,” said Miller.
Captain Miller said he would “assume” the officer would be told who filed the complaint against him.
“Although I personally did not speak with Officer Monticello, I would assume the investigating supervisor would discuss the nature of the complaint which would include the identity of the complainant,” said Miller.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.