MONROE – A South Jersey police officer is suspended and facing criminal charges for misconduct, including allegations he had sex on duty, paid off a known drug dealer and used police information to help others avoid arrest.
Sgt. Jody Collins, 41, turned himself in to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, following a five-month investigation into alleged misconduct at the Monroe Township Police Department.
Collins — an officer in the township since 1998 — is charged with misconduct, pattern of misconduct and computer crimes, for allegedly providing law enforcement database information to benefit civilians, authorities reported Monday.
Multiple times over three years, Collins allegedly requested information about the status of a woman’s warrants. The inquiries, starting in September 2015, came at the woman’s request, according to charging documents.
He is accused of engaging in sex acts with a woman in his Monroe Township patrol vehicle instead of arresting her for outstanding warrants, according to the charges.
Collins allegedly paid drug debts to a known drug dealer while in the presence of the woman with outstanding warrants, the charges indicate.
The officer also is accused of passing on information about police activity plans so civilians could avoid apprehension, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Collins, of Williamstown, had been suspended from his post since April. He was initially suspended with pay, but has been suspended without pay since Friday, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Collins, earning $107,000 annually, was promoted to sergeant last year, while the current county prosecutor Charles Fiore was the township’s solicitor.
At the September 2017 promotion ceremony, Monroe Township Police Chief John McKeown indicated Collins had been filling in as acting sergeant for two years before the promotion.
McKeown said Collins showed willingness to accomplish the duties of sergeant, including ensuring the mission of the agency, according to meeting minutes.
Collins was released pending his first court appearance, set for Sept. 27 in Gloucester County Superior Court in Woodbury.