Being a cop is a tough job. It is physically dangerous, and often thankless. However, it is intensely important, and as a result our society places great trust, authority and responsibility in our law enforcement officers. Because of this special trust, the law holds law enforcement officers to a higher standard. And because of the job’s difficulty and importance, it also gives law enforcement officers greater due process rights than other employees before they are disciplined.
Employment Protections for Law Enforcement Officers
New Jersey employment law provides that permanent police officer may not be disciplined except for “just cause,” or have her employment terminated for political reasons – or indeed any reason “other than incapacity, misconduct, or disobedience of rules and regulations established for the government of the police department.” An officer may be disciplined only after she receives notice of the charges against her and is given a fair and impartial hearing. The specific language of the statute provides: