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Troopers charged in high speed escort

File this in the police-do-stupid-things category -- not all police misconduct involves violent crimes, large sums of money or contraband. Two New Jersey state troopers escorted a pack of luxury sport cars down the New Jersey Turnpike and other busy highways in the state. In some cases the cars - Porsches, Lamborghinis and Ferraris - traveled at rates of speed that exceeded 100 mph.

Both officers face charges of records-tampering for altering their license plates with electrical tape hide their involvement in the March cavalcade. One of the troopers was also charged with instructing the drivers of the sports cars to do the same. Hiding their license plates allowed them to speed through toll booths on the New Jersey Turnpike without paying.

They are both being charged with fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records. One of the men has also been charged with third-degree tampering with public records. Both have been suspended since April.

Similar incidents occurred in 2010, and other state troopers face administrative charges for their involvement. However, the time limit for issuing tickets to the drivers of the sports cars has expired, and they will not be charged.

The attorneys for both troopers say that neither man did anything wrong.

The state police announced on Friday that new guidelines for police escorts include stronger authorization and review procedures. The new rules also require police escorts to abide by posted speed limits. Although the guidelines were announced as "new," police have refused to release the guidelines in place in March, causing some to suspect that no guidelines existed until recently.

The two officers also face administrative charges that include improperly conducting an escort and unsafe driving.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "2 NJ troopers charged in 100-mph caravan escort," July 26, 2012.

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