WOODBRIDGE – Pat Colligan, President of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association (NJSPBA), today criticized Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes’ continuation of her decision to propose a 45-day suspension for Detective Dean Cioppa based on official disclosure of his volunteer work in the Pompton Lakes community.

Detective Cioppa, who serves as the High School Booster Club president, a volunteer fire department member, and on the borough Redevelopment Agency, has been subjected to an Internal Affairs Investigation. His service extends to his weekends as the Pompton Lakes High School football team announcer.

According to President Colligan, this investigation and the proposed suspension are wholly unjustified and represent a disregard for community service that aligns with the Prosecutor's office mission statement.

"I am stunned but, unfortunately, not surprised by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s actions,” said Colligan. “We should be commending Detective Cioppa for his volunteer work, not tarnishing his good name and great work. The illogical nature of Prosecutor Valdes’s proposal aligns with what we continue to see from her office."

Despite two formal letters sent to Prosecutor Valdes beginning in the summer, there has been no response, escalating concerns among NJ State PBA members. "The decisions from the Passaic County Prosecutor's office are not just disappointing—they're indefensible. Detective Cioppa deserves accolades, not baseless accusations," Colligan added.

Instead, Prosecutor Valdes is still proposing a suspension, and her office has retained private counsel in the matter. President Colligan also expressed concern over the hiring of outside counsel by Prosecutor Valdes. "Expending critical financial resources to investigate a detective for doing volunteer work in his community is the epitome of government waste," Colligan added.

The NJ State PBA stands firmly with Detective Cioppa, calling for immediate action and reevaluating the charges. "The current situation is unjust and counterproductive to fostering positive relationships between law enforcement and the community. We expect a prompt and fair resolution to this matter," said Colligan.

The Association remains committed to advocating for the rights and fair treatment of all its members and awaits a response from Prosecutor Valdes’ office.

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