A police officer in Seaside Heights, New Jersey has been charged with one count of third-degree possession of child pornography and one count of second-degree distribution of child pornography.
Class II Special Police Officer Kevin Meier, 21, was arrested on-duty at Seaside Heights Police Headquarters Wednesday, officials said Thursday.
“Special Officers,” also called seasonal cops, are deployed in many South Jersey towns to help deal with the influx of tourists in the summer months.
The investigation began after a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified Seaside Heights Police that someone in Ocean County had uploaded suspected child pornography to the Internet.
The Ocean County High Tech Crime Unit identified Meier’s residence, located at 304 Sheridan Avenue, as the source, before officers executed the search warrant on the home and found numerous files “related to child pornography.”
Meier is being held at the Ocean County Jail on a $50,000 bail.
Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd immediately terminated Meier’s employment and confiscated all assigned uniforms and equipment, officials say.
According to numbers compiled by The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 10.4 percent of police officers cited for misconduct in the first quarter of 2010 were cited for sex offenses.
517 officers were involved in sexual misconduct complaints during that period.
Of all sexual misconduct complaints, 197 officers were associated with complaints that involved children, 86 were associated with sexual harassment complaints, and 234 officers were involved in more serious sexual misconduct complaints.
For all sexual misconduct complaints there were 419 victims of misconduct that could be classified as sexual assault, rape, sexual battery, or molestation.
Of these 419 victims of more serious types of sexual misconduct, 219 were minors. This would appear to indicate that officers involved with sexual misconduct would appear to be more likely to have multiple victims when minors are involved than adults.
Crunching the numbers, these statistics show that roughly 3 percent of all sex offenses are committed by police officers, with just 2 percent being committed by other strangers, and 95 percent being committed by relatives or acquaintances of the victim.