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Bergen prosecutor returns River Edge police chief’s service weapon after domestic incident

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: More than three years after River Edge Police Chief Thomas Cariddi surrendered his guns following a domestic violence complaint, he got his service weapon back today.

Cariddi had to appeal to a judge to get back his personal firearms, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT , while confirming that he returned the chief’s service weapon today.

That gun and Cariddi’s personal firearms were taken according to a Domestic Violence Act directive from the state Attorney General, Molinelli said.

“Specific procedures” had to followed, including an in-depth internal affairs investigation, the results of which must be presented to the prosecutor, he said.

The state Division of Criminal Justice also was notified, as stipulated under the Attorney General’s directive.

Cariddi took a three-month paid leave of absence during the prosecutor’s investigation, the results of which were presented to the Borough Council  in late 2011 but weren’t made public, under state guidelines.

The council docked Cariddi two weeks of vacation and urged him to seek counseling under the terms of his reinstatement near the end of December 2011.

In the end, the domestic violence charge wasn’t pursued through the courts, officials said.

Officers in all New Jersey departments who are charged with a domestic violence offense must surrender their duty and personal weapons to their chief. When a chief is involved, the prosecutor’s office takes possession of the firearms.

Although the borough council determines whether or not a chief should be reinstated, the final decision on a return of weapons belongs to the individual county prosecutor. It follows a thorough investigation and often carries conditions that include being prohibited from bringing a firearm onto premises shared with the person who filed the domestic violence complaint.

The chief also was required to undergo a psychological evaluation.

Cariddi has been chief since being appointed in 2008 after his predecessor, longtime Chief Ronald Starace, retired.

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