Elijah Camacho lost his job with the Paulsboro police on August 10, 2021, after admitting to the relationship. Camacho and the female trainee had sex while he was on duty between five and 10 times in 2020.
In an April 4, 2022 ruling first obtained by open government advocate John Paff, Superior Court Judge Samuel Ragonese upheld Camacho’s termination.
Camacho, who was hired in 2018, had appealed his firing, claiming his misconduct was an “error in judgment,” according to records. He also insisted that even when he was engaged in sexual activity with the other officer, he would “still be able to handle an emergency call.”
An internal affairs investigation into Camacho began after he ended his sexual relationship with the trainee in December 2020 and went to go see his girlfriend.
Records show that after the breakup, the subordinate went to a friend to talk about the situation. The friend, who was also a cop, recorded the conversation. At one point, the subordinate discussed attempting suicide, which required crisis intervention.
Camacho’s admission of having sex while on duty followed a history of issues on the job. According to the decision, he had his gun taken due to a domestic violence charge, was disciplined for watching social media during shifts, and arrived 30 minutes late to work on more than one occasion.
Court records showed Camacho’s many violations triggered the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office’s early warning system. The program is designed to identify and help officers who “show symptoms of job stress or personal problems.”
The decision also states that Camacho had up to 13 infractions when serving the Camden Metro police before leaving to work for Paulsboro.
In upholding the firing, Ragonese said that Camacho’s behavior would likely bring sexual harassment claims against Paulsboro and tarnish the police department’s reputation.
“It is hard to imagine that the next twenty or more years of police service would be
productive to the citizens of Paulsboro,” Ragonese wrote.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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