Bradley Beach mayor expected to release report on police chief altercation video

Chief Leonard Guida remains suspended with pay following a December 2023 altercation with one of his sergeants.

Jim Murdoch

Feb 22, 2024, 10:58 PM

Updated 54 days ago

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A retired police chief and law enforcement expert is reacting to the wild videos showing a Jersey Shore police chief and sergeant involved in a heated confrontation during a DWI crash investigation in Bradley Beach.
It comes as the Bradley Beach mayor expects to release an update on the chief’s status early next week.
In the videos News 12 first broadcast on Tuesday, an argument between Sgt. William Major and Chief Leonard Guida turned physical, all over the jacket Major was wearing.
The sergeant was in the middle of investigating a DWI crash on Main Street when the chief arrived on the scene in street clothes. Guida pulled the sergeant away from the scene because a letter was peeled off his jacket. Major is heard on video saying the chief was “drunk again.” The chief suspended Major on site. Major has since returned to his job. Chief Guida remains suspended with pay.
Brian Higgins is a policing expert, college lecturer, former Bergen County police chief and former Bergen County public safety director. Higgins analyzed these videos and spoke with News 12 about what he witnessed.
“If the chief was a civilian and came to the scene intoxicated, interfered with, and put his hands on a police officer, he would no doubt be arrested,” Higgins said. “It’s only by the fact that he’s the chief of the police department that he wasn’t arrested for interfering with the officer’s lawful duties.”
Higgins added, “People need to know they can trust the law enforcement agency. The chief is the face of that. And it impacts so many things. How is the chief respected in the department? How can the chief enforce public affairs when the chief himself is not following them? It can have a very devastating effect on the agency and the community.”
As per guidelines, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office investigated Guida’s actions and issued its findings to Bradley Beach Mayor Larry Fox.
News 12 filed additional open records requests for videos of other incidents allegedly involving the chief and members of the department.


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