ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT : Members of the Port Authority Police Department are seeing red over a tabloid story that claims an isolated incident could cost their commander his job, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
PA Chief Robert H. Belfiore
Robert H. Belfiore, a 30-year agency veteran responsible in large part for the success of New Jersey’s Special Olympics program, reportedly had an officer drive his daughter from JFK Airport to their Jersey Shore home after her plane was diverted from Newark.
“So what?” a sergeant asked. “Any one of us would do that. The fact of the matter is we give rides to politicians and their ilk all the time, yet we’re supposed to deny one of our own?”
Belfiore is known among hundreds of law enforcement agencies on both sides of the river as a powerful force behind the heavy involvement of police in the New Jersey Special Olympics — which he co-founded.
The 61-year-old father of three, a member of the organization’s Board of Directors, has helped raise tens of millions of dollars over the past three decades, tirelessly volunteering at events throughout the state, from Cape May up to Saddle Brook and Oakland.
According to the New York Post , however, investigators from the Porth Authority’s inspector general’s office are looking into whether the agency’s top police chief got an officer to give his college-age daughter, Stacey, a ride home to their Jersey Shore home in September.
The request reportedly was approved, and she got the ride, according to the Post, which said the investigation was launched after a tipster within the department emailed the Inspector General’s office.
The Post said the IG already has interviewed those involved: Belfiore (who once commanded the Port Authority’s uniformed detachment at Newark Airport), two ranking officers and the driver.
Fifteen years ago, Belfiore was elected to the International Law Enforcement Torch Run Hall Of Fame – one of only 30 law enforcement officers in the world who held the honor at the time.
New Jersey’s is one of the top three torch runs in the world, thanks in large part to Belfiore‘s efforts, which have been recognized by several organizations.
Besides the Torch Run, Belfiore is a regular at Special Olympics and other fund-raising events, from the Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights to the annual Lincoln Tunnel run.
This past November, Belfiore participated in New Jersey’s second annual Thanks ‘4’ Giving Turkey Plunge — held for the first time in North Jersey, at Crystal Lake in Oakland — to raise money for NJ’s Special Olympics. Former Sheriff Leo McGuire called the event “skin-bracing but heart-warming.”
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