FREEHOLD – A report detailing the findings of an investigation conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) Professional Responsibility Unit (PRU) into actions by the Chief of Police of the Bradley Beach Police Department is being publicly released today at the order of Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago.

Prosecutor Santiago is invoking his authority delineated under Section 9.6.1 of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures (IAP&P), which note that while “the nature and source of internal allegations, the progress of internal affairs investigations, and the resulting materials are confidential information,” they can be publicly disseminated under limited circumstances that include being “at the direction of the County Prosecutor.”

VIEW OR DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK

The report details a total of nine incidents dating from July 2022 through November 2023. A total of 28 findings were sustained against Bradley Beach Police Chief Leonard Guida – 24 violations of the Bradley Beach Police Department Rules and Regulations, 2 violations of the OAG IAP&P, and single violations of the Bradley Beach Employee Handbook, Personnel, and Policy Manual and the MCPO Early Intervention System Directive.

The PRU investigation was initiated following receipt of an anonymous complaint in August 2023, initially focusing on two of the aforementioned nine incidents. It expanded in scope following an incident involving Chief Guida and Bradley Beach Police Department Sgt. William Major in November 2023; an additional finding was made and sustained against Major for his conduct during that incident. 

“The findings outlined in this report illustrate unmistakably that over the previous year and a half, Chief Guida has been an active hindrance to the very law enforcement agency he was entrusted to lead. The picture the report paints is not pretty – but that is precisely why we felt that it was so vitally important to publicly release it,” Prosecutor Santiago said. “Transparency is rendered meaningless if ugliness is kept opaque.”

The public release of the report aligns with the intentions outlined under OAG Directive 2022-14, Transparency in Internal Affairs Investigations. The report was subject to limited redactions prior to its public disclosure, most of them made in accordance with the provisions of the Directive that mandate redaction of “the names of complainants, witnesses, informants, victims and cooperators, in addition to information that could reasonably lead to discovery of their identities,” as well as “any … information that would violate a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy.”

“The vast majority of the redactions in this report denote small acts of bravery. Our investigation would not have been possible without interviewing members of a particularly small police department who in some cases were understandably apprehensive about coming forward,” Prosecutor Santiago said. “Furthermore, our investigation revealed that the sworn members of the Bradley Beach Police Department routinely conduct themselves with the utmost diligence and professionalism. This report should not be misconstrued to reflect poorly on the Department at large, as the actions of one person do not negate the excellent work of so many other individuals.”

Chief Guida’s retirement became effective today.