New Jersey police K-9 officer found dead amid prostitute investigation

TRENTON, New Jersey -- City officials have confirmed Trenton City Police officer Ed Leopardi has taken his own life, committing suicide Wednesday at his home.

Leopardi lived in Franklin Township, Gloucester County.

He spent over two decades on the police force, and was also a committeeman and former mayor in Franklin.

Leopardi was under investigation, along with several other officers, from the department's K-9 unit for allegedly bringing a prostitute into the building the unit occupies on East State Street. Trenton Police Director Ernie Parrey confirmed the investigation Tuesday, but would not reveal details.

There was a heavy police presence at Leopardi's house Wednesday -- a number of officers and police vehicles. And the street nearby was blocked off.

The Gloucester County Democratic's website says over the years, Leopardi has also served as a volunteer firefighter, EMT and Little League coach and umpire, and that he was the married father of three.

A city official, who has known Leopardi for years, described him as a good guy, three years away from retirement, who got caught up in a bad thing.

The Trenton Police Department released the following statement on Wednesday:

"It is with heartfelt sadness that we confirm the death of our brother officer Ed Leopardi who died today in Franklin Township. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Any inquiries regarding the death should be directed to Franklin Township."
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