Suspended Bradley Beach police chief set to retire this week, mayor says

Bradley Beach Mayor Larry Fox confirmed that Chief Leonard Guida will retire this Friday, March 1.

Jim Murdoch

Feb 26, 2024, 3:12 PM

Updated 45 days ago

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The chief of the Bradley Beach Police Department is retiring.
Bradley Beach Mayor Larry Fox confirmed in a message on social media that Chief Leonard Guida will retire on Friday, March 1.
The news comes following the release of a confrontation caught on police body camera between Guida and Sgt. William Major, while Major was investigating a DWI crash last November.
In the body cam video first published by TapInto, Major and Guida are seen having a physical argument, which began when Guida pulled Major aside to ask about the sergeant’s jacket he was wearing. Major was in the middle of investigating a DWI crash on Main Street when the chief arrived on the scene in street clothes. Major said the chief appeared “drunk again.”
In a statement to News 12, Mayor Fox shared a timeline of the sequence of events following the Nov. 9 encounter.
The day after the incident, the mayor was informed by the chief about what happened. A week later, the incident went to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, as per state guidelines for investigation and the chief was placed on paid leave.
On Monday, Feb. 26, the mayor announced the chief will retire on Friday.
Councilwoman Kristen Mahoney tells News 12 the decision to put the chief on paid leave was the mayor's - without any input from the council.
"We have ordinances in place where the council and the mayor make these decisions jointly. And I feel bad for the residents that this has been done unilaterally without the council's input because that's the way that things are supposed to work in this town," said Mahoney.
Other people who live in Bradley Beach say they're concerned about the level of transparency coming from the town’s leaders.
"This should have been dealt with immediately and a rumor should not have had to go around town," said Julie, a Bradley Beach resident for 10 years.
"I do think he has served his 40 years. I'm not one that just thinks his pension should be completely going away. I could get in trouble for saying something like that, however, he should not have been on paid leave. He should have been suspended without pay," added Brigitte McGuire, also from Bradley Beach.
Last week, News 12 filed additional Open Records Requests for more videos allegedly showing more interactions between the chief and members of the police department dating back to 2022. As of now, News 12 has not received those requests. A council meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.


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