New Jersey police chief allegedly gave incentives to officers who wrote more tickets

ALPINE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey police chief has been suspended after it was discovered he allegedly offered incentives to officers who wrote more tickets and made more arrests.

Chief Michael Coppola of the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department has been suspended for 90 days while officials oversee critical changes to the department, the Bergen County Prosecutors Office said Thursday.

A probe uncovered a program that gave awards and incentives to officers with the highest summons and arrest activity each month.

Investigators say those officers received favorable parking spaces, newer police vehicles and a meal allowance of $200.

Some of the tickets involved dangerous high speed chases, including one that ended in death.

Investigators reviewing police pursuits between January 2014 to August 2017 found officers violated pursuit guidelines in 36 of 41 cases.

In 23 of 36 pursuits, police speeds exceeded 100 mph. In 13 cases, police speeds exceeded 120 mph.

Investigators also found the chief owned a company which provided IT services to the department.

While they say he did not charge for or directly profit from services, investigators cited conflict of interest violations.

The Palisades Interstate Park Commission has not commented on the prosecutor's findings.

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