A Union City Police Officer has been charged with Computer Theft, a second-degree crime.
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Public Integrity Unit, Internal Affairs Section, arrested Weslley Hernandez, 29, of Clifton, just after 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19 at the prosecutor’s office in Jersey City after he turned himself in with his attorney.
The Union City Police Department conducted an initial inquiry when it was brought to their attention that an unknown police officer may have been using his position to aid in criminal activities. When it was discovered he was a Union City police officer, the UCPD contacted the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Internal Affairs Unit.
According to the charges, on several dates in June of 2020, Hernandez accessed the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Database and allegedly obtained information for purposes other than those authorized by his employment as a police officer.
“When it was brought to our attention that an officer from an unknown jurisdiction may be using his position to provide information to a criminal enterprise, the department took immediate steps to confirm or dispel a Union City Officer’s involvement,” said Union City Police Chief Nichelle Luster.
“Upon confirming involvement, and later that same day, we contacted the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Internal Affairs Unit. We cooperated with the Prosecutor’s Office investigation and placed the officer on administrative leave during the investigation. In light of today’s charges, the officer will be suspended without pay. We have a zero tolerance policy for these types of actions and believe law enforcement must be held to the highest of standards.”
“Police officers, not unlike all public officials, take an oath to uphold the Constitution and to protect the public’s trust,” said Union City Mayor Brian Stack. “A career in public service means upholding the law and protecting the integrity of government. I applaud the Union City Police Department for their initial investigation of the matter and thank all the other law enforcement agencies who aided in the actions in the matter. The standards to which we hold our law enforcement community is of paramount importance.”
Prosecutor Esther Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office HCPO Public Integrity Unit, Internal Affairs Unit, the Union City Police Department, the Hoboken Police Department and the Newark Police Department with the investigation and arrest.
This is an ongoing investigation and additional arrests and/or charges are possible. The above charges are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.