Hoboken disbands police SWAT unit in wake of racy photos
HOBOKEN, N.J. - The police department's SWAT team has been disbanded, just days after officials learned of racy photos showing the unit's commander and other officers cavorting with waitresses from a Hooters restaurant in Alabama.
Bill Bergin, a former deputy chief with the Hoboken Fire Department who was named the city's civilian public safety director on Thursday, made the announcement shortly after he was sworn in to the post on Friday.
"The unit itself has been disbanded permanently," Bergin told The Jersey Journal of Jersey City for a story posted on its Web site Friday night. He said the SWAT team members would remain on the force and continue their normal police duties.
Bergin also ordered the SWAT team's commander, Lt. Angelo Andriani, to return from vacation and assigned him to desk duty.
Andriani is named in a federal discrimination lawsuit brought by five Latino officers, who claim he is a racist who coerced four of them to work on his house when they should have been on duty.
Andriani has denied the allegations.
The photos were taken last year on a return trip from Louisiana, where the Hoboken officers helped with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
They show the waitresses holding shotguns and other weapons belonging to officers under Andriani's command. Some of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit were among the officers present.
City Councilman Ruben Ramos Jr. on Friday called for an investigation by the city into the conduct of the officers during the trip.
Remember kids tequila, bimbos