The Hunterdon Democrat by Teresa Fasanello - December 6, 2010
FRENCHTOWN, NJ — Patrolman Randy Groff of the borough police department was arrested by state troopers on charges of official misconduct. He’s been suspended without pay. He was charged Nov. 4 with official misconduct for revealing confidential information about a pending home visit by a Division of Youth and Family Services officer, a spokeswoman from the state Attorney General’s office said today. Groff obtained the information about the DYFS visit while exercising his official duties, but acted contrary to law when he revealed the information without authorization in order “to obtain a benefit for himself or another,” according to the charges. He was scheduled to appear in Delaware Valley Municipal Court on Nov. 8, but his case was transferred to the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office because it is an indictable offense. This means the matter may be taken before a grand jury to consider returning an indictment. Frenchtown Police Chief Al Kurylka said Groff returned his gun and other equipment to the police department. He was hired full-time last year through a $204,618 grant from the federal Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Police Services program. The borough was to receive 100% of Groff’s entry-level salary and benefits for three years, with the requirement that Groff continue to be employed by the borough for at least one year after the grant ended. Kurylka said Groff’s suspension will not jeopardize the grant. “We don’t want to lose that,” he said. Councilman Brad Myhre, who heads the Police and Fire Committee, said the administrators of the grant have been “fully informed” of the situation and the funds are “secure.” “I will absolutely hire another full-time police officer when I am allowed to,” Kurylka said. For now, part-time officers have increased their hours, but Kurylka said some reduction in total hours worked by the force is inevitable. “We are trying to do our very, very best,” he said. Groff, 47, worked as a Roxbury Township police officer for 13 years, retiring in 2004, said Roxbury Chief Mark Noll. He worked next as a crusher operator at the Oxford quarry in Warren County before he joined the Frenchtown police force, and was a part-time patrolman in Frenchtown for three years before being hired full-time through the grant.
Officer Groff made a mistake and that shouldn’t cancel out his nearly 30 years in uniform. He began his service as a USMC Infantry combat veteran of Grenada and Beruit. Randy dispatched for Washington Borough Police Department, volunteered with Oxford Emergency Squad. He began his police career at Oxford PD where his only available backup was neighboring Police departments. I was very proud to have served during the same time period in the military and in an adjacent municipalities Police department alongside Officer Groff. Throughout his years of service he was a brave, conscientious and honorable man, don’t judge him over his single mistake.
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