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N.J. Officer Suspended for Sleeping In Cruiser

September 30, 2013  | 

Screenshot via YouTube.
Screenshot via YouTube.
A Belleville (N.J.) Police officer caught napping in his patrol car in a retail store's parking lot has been suspended by his agency.

Officer Jesse McKeough, a recent police academy graduate, was working an off-duty part-time security job on Sept. 9 when a passerby, 27-year-old Anthony Telinski, took a video of the officer sleeping in full uniform. Telinski then posted the clip to YouTube, adding video text stating, "Our tax dollars at work, gotta love it!"

Telinski told he has been harassed by several Belleville officers after posting the video. The agency said he was arrested for possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

Officer McKeough had been given authorization by the department to work the paid detail in uniform with his patrol vehicle, reports

Comments (30)

Displaying 1 - 30 of 30

M @ 9/30/2013 2:35 PM

Thank goodness that this is all that is happening to him. Someone could have easily shot him while he was sleeping. I caught one of my officers sleeping one time, and I wrote on a piece of paper "BANG!BANG! YOU'RE DEAD!" and put it under the windshield wiper of his squad. It got the point across.

bpd3733 @ 9/30/2013 2:49 PM

I have nodded off a couple of times in the patrol car. But that was riding with my former Chief. He likes playing classical music while he drives. It knocks me out every time.

PoPo @ 9/30/2013 3:19 PM

At least he could have wiped the drool from his cheek before he posed for the picture. Zzzzzzzz!

oink @ 9/30/2013 3:52 PM

Anyone who has worked graveyard for an extended period of time as a slick sleeve and claims they have never fallen asleep is lying.

Bossman @ 9/30/2013 4:49 PM

Working rotating 12's will catch up to anyone and cause us to nod off, even if it's for a minute or two.

Chuck Hutto @ 9/30/2013 5:52 PM

The body is designed to sleep at night, add rotating shifts, 12 hour shifts, don't forget court that seems to always be when you should be sleeping, yeah your gonna fall asleep or catch a cat nap. Better in a parking lot than against a tree. Damn if we do, and damed if we don't!

Copwife @ 9/30/2013 7:24 PM

These guys earn their $$$ by protecting our asses every day and night! Give him a break its hard rotating shifts..!!!

rich @ 9/30/2013 7:27 PM

He is my friend and a good guy he didnt try to hide the car to go to sleep he nodded off on a road job damn shame he got so many days.. it happens to the best of us

Foxy @ 9/30/2013 7:58 PM

Geez-sus! Two things; 1. a copper is suspended for a power nap on duty?!? The authorities responsible for authorizing the suspension should be suspended.
2. Those who then made this public for the world to see need a kick up the rear end.
In my police service, this matter would have been dealt with, at very best, by way of managerial guidance and that's it. You guys do it pretty tough and then cop this as punishment ?! That's Crap!
For god sake! Show some better judgement next time please.

Jack Betz @ 9/30/2013 8:24 PM

And just what did anybody expect would happen if you were caught napping, a comendation?

dt @ 9/30/2013 8:30 PM

Give me a break. Cops are not the only people working 12 hour shifts and rotating shifts. Any other job he would have been fired not suspended.

G-DG @ 9/30/2013 9:01 PM

@dt- Being a cop isn't like "any other job." I know you don't understand that reality. Until you do understand, don't make generalizations.

Jason @ 10/1/2013 3:39 AM

We use to work 4 of each shift rotating backwards. So you get 4 evenings, 4 mornings then 4 nights and even though you had off day in between which always seem to fall on court or administrative days by the time you hit the 2nd night your fighting to keep your eyes open. So I've also been where he's at once or twice maybe more. Some people will never understand what this job takes. We have a saying in the Caribbean... 1 of my days as a cop are 3 of yours as a civilian and until you can walk in my shoes, don't cry me down. The clown that took this pic if he understood it would have just tap on the glass and see if he was ok. Hell he could have fallen ill.

S.S. @ 10/1/2013 6:27 AM

We've all been there before. Maybe not to that extent. Im sure he didn't go out there with that intent. Maybe exit the unit and walk around a lil bit. Just to walk it off. To the douchebag that posted it. I guess you feel like you go retribution for your crime of dealing drugs to kids. I hope it makes you feel better. It still doesn't matter you're still a p.o.s.

steve @ 10/1/2013 9:03 AM

Posted a notice in my officer's office not long ago asking "What will you be doing when someone takes a picture or video of you today, something professional or something lame?" Obviously, the point was to remind them that someone is watching you all the time and that person may be using some kind of recording device while watching.

Chap @ 10/1/2013 9:28 AM

Having spent 37 years as a street cop, I have seen this several times. Young Cops usually work at least one part time job, usually work nights or graveyards, have to go to court a lot, and just do not get enough rest. Being a Policeman is very unique, with a lot of pressure, not only at work, but also at home. The Officer should not have fallen asleep and let his guard down, but unless you have been in his shoes, don't be too judgemental. Just saying......

Mike @ 10/1/2013 9:33 AM

The first and decent response should have been to check the brother to see whether he was's a shame that a man who was working so hard to take care of his family and to protect his community has been unfairly shamed like this. I hope he recovers by continuing his career somewhere. Nothing wrong with a second chance for all of us.

God bless our beloved military personnel, our honest LEOs, and nurses. Three categories of some of the most noble work a person can do.

mikew @ 10/1/2013 10:51 AM

"Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone" just saying.....

db in AZ @ 10/1/2013 11:26 AM

Too much focus on the officer and nothing on the herion dealer....yes, the drug dealer is trying to deflect attention...typical behavior these days.!!!

Francisco Cruz @ 10/1/2013 11:58 AM

What the hell, he is just taking a nap after a rough week. This is not antisocial, illegal or immoral. This is HUMAN. Risk sure he it at risk, what is the problem? He is aware he is at risk. He did no go to sleep because he wanted to break the rules. He went to sleep because his body demanded it. Park and sleeping better than driving sleepy. That his supervisor needs to talk to him, true, but that all. Don't be so perfects because you are not... Think about it.

beenthere @ 10/1/2013 12:37 PM

I've been in his shoes and had to bite the bullet by getting a 3 day suspension. All due to an interim chief making an example out of me and a corporal kissing ass to look good for promotion. I fell asleep 45 minutes before the end of graveyard shift and after requesting to leave early, which this corporal denied. It could've been handled differently, but that's not the way those people wanted it run. I moved on not long after that and prospered as an officer and Sergeant with another agency.

Steebie @ 10/1/2013 12:39 PM

This rookie was working an off-duty job when he passed out. He should obviously not be working more hours than he can handle. That's what makes this one different than many of the scenarios listed in these comments. That's the point that keeps getting left out of the rationalizations. Forced OT? Absolutely understandable. Lining up at the trough for more money? It's on him.

Ima Leprechaun @ 10/1/2013 3:53 PM

This happens quite a lot. I worked with a Sergeant that couldn't stay awake on midnight shift but he was very crafty about how he slept on duty. He would find a house being built, pull into the garage pull down the door and turn off his car and go to sleep. I can't begin to say how many OSHP officers I pulled alongside of in a median turn around to find them fast alseep, they would roll their window up on their smokey the bear hat rim so they appeared to be sitting upright but they were out cold. I had to pull an OSHP trooper in a marked police car over one night when he fell asleep at the wheel and was zig zagging all over the highway. It happens a lot and those that did it on purpose were very crafty about it. I was a night owl so I never had problems staying awake at night. We had an officer from a neighboring agency that carried a pillow and an alarm clock with him. Most of the areas he was assigned to patrol had no radio coverage so he was usually out of radio range most of the night. Whenever I saw him he always looked happy and refreshed. Some people just can't handle working nights. Sure its a officer safety issue but no agency will allow anyone to come into the station to take a nap so as long as they have no other choice this will happen.

Ima Leprechaun @ 10/1/2013 3:58 PM

I like the Officer that as we from daylight shift walked by him sitting in his cruiser filling out his end of shift log asked him where his light bar had gone. He thought it was a joke until he got out of his car and saw he had no light bar. Sometime over the previous 8 hours someone stole the light bar off the top of his car and he never noticed it. I suspect he had not tried to pull anybody over that night.

Neil @ 10/1/2013 4:40 PM

A friend of mine ended up falli g asleep behind the wheel on a 12-8 shift. Accident was minor and no other vehicles involved. Chief ended up writing him up for sleeping on duty. Me personally, I hate the overnight. If you need to pull I to the station and catch a nap it's a lot better than crashing. Open lot is not the best spot either. Feel bad for him.

Charlie Blalock @ 10/1/2013 5:11 PM

There but for the grace of God.. like the "oh by the way our photographer is a herion dealer".

Floyd @ 10/1/2013 5:13 PM

Occupational hazard.

VC @ 10/1/2013 7:04 PM

After being a 15 year vet of police work myself, I can tell you for a fact that it happens to the best of us. Our rotating night and day 12 hour shifts were no cakewalk, let alone having to protect and put our lives on the line for the very people that make these complaints. That shield on your chest is heavy. Unless you have bee there, don't knock it til you have tried it. Besides, he was a rookie, who still hadn't had time for his body to adjust to the torturous shift work and off-duty gigs.

Thomas Mckeough @ 11/24/2013 5:46 PM

Hey, this message is to all of the guys who are hating on this man. Although I have not seen him for awhile, since i was 6 ( I am now 13 ) I love him. This man is my brother. anyone who knows this dude please tell him to call up his brother or tell him that his brother says hi. This would be much appreciated

jay @ 12/25/2013 8:34 PM

dumb ass cop. get a real job, and stay awake. its not a hard job, its for lazy idiots who cant hold a non gov job. loosers

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