Ramapo mayor, police chief meet over wig dustupPosted: Updated:
Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and Police Chief Peter Brower are investigating an officer's actions after a Hasidic woman was forced to remove her wig for a booking photo.
"It's never done publicly," says Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer. "A woman never ever removes her hair in public. It's considered a tremendous humiliation for a woman to have her hair uncovered."
However, Officer Jonathan Quinn made Shifra Cohen, 23, remove her wig so she could be photographed after being booked for alleged welfare fraud.
"You have to understand one thing that is critical. In my 38 years here, it is the first time I can ever remember the arrest of a Hasidic woman," says Chief Brower.
The subsequent outcry from the Hasidic Jewish community has resulted in meetings to evaluate procedures. "The reason we're having the special meeting of the police commission is to gather the facts and look at the potential of some of the policies being corrected and the possibility of more training," says St. Lawrence.
Officials are also looking into instituting training already used by the state police to help officers better understand and deal with the Hasidic community. Quinn remains on the job.