This occurred in mid-2021, so it’s admittedly a bit stale. However, I think it’s important that outcomes of criminal cases against police officers be put into the public realm especially when neither the charge nor the outcome were ever reported by local media, which appears to be the case here.

The officer in question is Brian P. Barrett who was hired by the Winslow Township (Camden County, NJ) Police Department on February 28, 2005. According to records received from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Barrett was charged on February 21, 2021 with violating N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2A(2), a petty disorderly persons offense, for “creat[ing] a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.”

According to heavily redacted investigative reports (also included at the above link), Barrett had used the Winslow Police Department’s “private web-based searched engine” which allows officers “to conduct searches of persons, telephone numbers, social media accounts and other personal identifying information” for “personal investigations that were not authorized by the the Winslow Police Department.”

According to the records disclosed by the prosecutor’s office, Barrett pleaded guilty on May 19, 2021 to Summons No. 0436-S-2021-000346 and was sentenced on June 11, 2021 by Superior Court Judge Edward J. McBride, Jr. to a fine of zero dollars, court costs of $33 plus Violent Crime Compensation Board and Safe Neighborhoods Services Fund assessments of $50 and $75 respectively, for a total of $158. He was also sentenced to a one year period of probation that would “terminate upon payment of fines,” according to court records. Barrett also consented to a forfeiture of his position as a detective with the Winslow Police Department and agreed that “he shall be forever disqualified from holding any office or position of honor, trust or profit under this State or any of its administrative or political subdivisions.”

According to Gannett’s DataUniverse, Barrett, who was born in 1973, qualified for special retirement on June 1, 2021 and then started to receive monthly pension benefits of $4,628.

According to the forfeiture order, the State was represented in the matter by Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor Lesley M. Sokol and Barrett was represented by attorney Katie Hartman

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