VIDEO: Jersey City cop charged with DWI in Linden after one week on job

JCPD P.O. Alyssa Kavanaugh was arrested for DWI by the Linden Police Department on July 25, 2020, after the vehicle she was operating crashed into a utility pole.

Alyssa Kavanaugh - Jersey City Police Department

JCPD P.O. Alyssa Kavanaugh was sworn-in on July 16, 2020 – 9 days before being arrested for DWI in Linden, NJ. (PHOTOS: City of Linden, City of Jersey City)

NOTE: This article has been updated to clarify that P.O. Alyssa Kavanaugh is a Jersey City resident.

On July 25, 2020, less than ten days after being sworn into the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD), P.O. Alyssa Kavanaugh, age 30, was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) by the Linden Police Department (LPD) after the vehicle she was operating crashed into a utility pole.

On top of the DWI, Kavanaugh, a Jersey City resident, was charged with Careless Driving and Reckless Driving, according to a police report obtained via an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request with the City of Linden. Additionally, the report written by Linden P.O. David Araque states that Kavanaugh did not pass the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, Walk-and-Turn Test, and One Leg Stand Test.

Details from Araque’s report state that Kavanaugh was supposedly traveling back-and-forth from Jersey City, but was “unsure where she was” at the time of the crash. As well, Araque claimed he could “smell the strong odor of alcohol emanating from her breath,” however, Kavanaugh admitted to drinking only two shots of Hennessy earlier in the night.

Of note, Kavanaugh did submit to an Aloctest and provided breath samples, but the Blood Alcohol Concentration (B.A.C.) recorded was redacted. Also, bodycam and dashcam footage provided via OPRA was heavily redacted – both video and audio – by Linden. Real Garden State stitched together a collection of videos to capture as much of the incident as best as possible.


Despite being sworn-in as a JCPD police officer on July 16, 2020, Jersey City payroll records indicate Kavanaugh has been a city employee since May 2015 – previously working as a civilian in the Public Safety Department under the title of RCDS SUPPORT TECH 1.

Multiple JCPD sources allege that Kavanaugh is close with the leadership of the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association (JCPSOA). The JCPSOA leadership enjoys a strong relationship with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea, who have a track record of whitewashing drunk driving incidents on their behalf – including JCPSOA Pres. Robert Kearns and former JCPSOA VP Vincent Corso.

Without video of the arrest being publicized, JCPD sources believe Kavanaugh would receive preferential treatment and minimal discipline. As a probationary officer, Kavanaugh does not have strong employment protections and can be terminated by JCPD leadership for essentially any infraction.

For reference, JCPD P.O. Carlos Melendez, who had been on the job over five years when he was arrested for DWI in 2018, lost 30 days of accrued time as discipline.

A spokesperson for the City of Jersey City did not respond to an email seeking comment for this report, including whether or not Kavanaugh’s behavior was acceptable for a probationary officer.

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