Jonathan Rose owes Sheriff Mike Strada an apology.
We think well of former Freeholder Jonathan Rose. That’s why we were so disappointed and shocked by something he posted on social media yesterday.
In a strange, rush-to-judgment, Jonathan Rose sided with a prison officer who had been suspended by the Sheriff’s Department pending clearance for duty by a police psychiatrist. The New Jersey Herald ran a balanced story on the case of Andy Boden, who is now running for office against the head of the department that suspended him – Sheriff Mike Strada. Citing a letter written by Boden’s attorney to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, here’s what the Herald wrote:
The letter begins by saying the law firm has been retained "with respect to his (Boden's) suspension as a result of a Jan. 16, determination by Undersheriff John Tomasula and Dr. Matthew Guller of the Institute of Forensic Psychology."
The letter then asked that the document be accepted in lieu of a more formal petition for interim relief "as Lieutenant Boden has been orally advised that as of Monday, March 4, 2019, he is no longer on paid leave status and he is being required to use his own time while he undergoes counseling with a licensed mental health professional."
The Institute for Forensic Psychology was founded in 1972 and built a reputation for providing services for police applicants, recruits and on-duty officers throughout northern New Jersey as well as several federal law enforcement and other agencies, according to its webpage and other newspaper stories.
That is what Boden’s attorney wrote.
That’s right, a prison officer who carries a loaded firearm at work was suspended “while he undergoes counseling with a licensed mental health professional.” That sounds to us like the right move by Sheriff Strada. Why take chances when you have an employee who carries a firearm suffering from what could be a serious psychological issue. Let him get the help he needs to get back on his feet, then re-evaluate him to see if he is fit for duty. Don’t brush it under the rug and hope that the problem attends to itself.
Unfortunately, Jonathan Rose didn’t see it that way. Instead, he chose to use the occasion to attack Sheriff Strada – accusing Strada of suspending Boden when Boden’s own attorney clearly admits that it was a police psychiatrist who suspended Boden. With the greatest respect to former Freeholder Rose, America has had too many deadly incidents concerning firearms to simply ignore the concerns of a police psychiatrist.
We invite Andy Boden to present any documentation he has to correct the record that his own attorney provided. We invite candidate Boden the use of this website to provide us with his perspective. We will publish what he send us.