Police Accountability Project of the
New Jersey Libertarian Party
April 6, 2017

Lieutenant Christopher Pew
Internal Affairs Unit
Salem City Police Department    (Via e-mail to [email protected])

Dear Lieutenant Pew:

I chair the New Jersey Libertarian Party’s Police Accountability Project and ask that you accept this ​e-mail as our Internal Affairs complaint.  We would like your agency to investigate Sergeant Melvin Vanaman’s December 12, 2013 interaction with James T. Pritchett.

According to an April 6, 2017 Appellate Division opinion (on-line here), Vanaman illegally searched Pritchett and this illegal search required suppression of heroin found on Pritchett’s person and reversal of his conviction​ of third-degree possession.​  (Trial Judge Timothy G. Farrell’s August 14, 2014 written opinion, which was reversed, is on-line here.)

If Vanaman, despite having received adequate training and direction regarding traffic stops elected to ignore his training, we ask that you discipline him. Otherwise, we ask that your department review and supplement your training requirements in this area of the law.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

John Paff, Chairman
New Jersey Libertarian Party
Police Accountability Project
Email: [email protected]

–Subsequent action

04/06/17 – Notified that officer retired. Click here

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]