Earlier this month, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office completed a two-month internal affairs investigation into the conduct of Elizabeth Police Director James Cosgrove and concluded that, over the course of many years, Director Cosgrove described his staff using derogatory terms, including racist and misogynistic slurs. In response, earlier this week, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office (UCPO) assumed responsibility for the internal affairs functions of the Elizabeth Police Department (EPD).
One of the core responsibilities of an effective law enforcement leader is to maintain the trust of the community he or she serves. Director Cosgrove has violated that trust and, in doing so, undermined confidence in our system of justice. I believe that Director Cosgrove should resign his position immediately.
Conduct like this requires a prompt, comprehensive response. For that reason, I am invoking my authority under the Criminal Justice Act of 1970 and taking the following steps:
Here in New Jersey, we have worked hard to strengthen trust between police and the communities we serve, and we have no patience for those who fail to recognize that our ultimate responsibility is to the laws of this State and the people of New Jersey. While I have great faith in the men and women who make up the Elizabeth Police Department, it is apparent that their Director has fallen short.