"The unit itself has been disbanded permanently," stated Bill Bergin.
When Bill Bergin was sworn in Friday November 16 2007 as the Public Safety Director in Hoboken NJ, he immediately went to work. He disbanded the Hoboken NJ police SWAT team that had been generating a lot of heat it seems in the wrong way.
The center of the heat for the department is a set of racy pictures that had been taken two years ago at an Alabama Hooters restaurant when the team was on it's way home from a Hurricane Katrina relief mission. Those photos show the officers and girls posing on and in front of police vehicles outside the Hooters. They also show numerous shots of Lt Angelo Andriani posing with the girls as well as some of the girls posing with handcuffs on or holding weapons.
The SWAT team members will remain on the police force and continue to do normal police duties. Bergin though has ordered Andriani, the team's commander to return from vacation and he will be assigned to desk duties. Andriani is also being sued for discrimination by five Latino officers for discrimination and they have accused him of being a white supremacist.
Andriani has stated that he and the team were off-duty at the time the pictures were taken and that the weapons were privately owned and not bought with taxpayers money.
Those two points may be very true but the team obviously was enjoying more than the wings at Hooters while still in their uniforms and using official vehicles. It seems that the Lt will have much more time to continue enjoying the "wings" while he is sitting at his new desk now.
For a related post, go here.
For the series of published photos, go here.