27 Dec *** UPDATE – The CMC Herald – WWW Police Officer Suspended with Pay ***
A recent article has been written in the Cape May County Herald regarding a West Wildwood police officer suspended with pay while facing charges following a domestic altercation.
Following is an excerpt from the article.
COURT HOUSE – Four local police officers have January 2022 dates in Cape May County Superior Court, as they fight criminal charges stemming from 2021 arrests. A fifth local officer’s case has been referred to the grand jury for indictment, according to a court official.
While four of the five officers are suspended without pay, pending the outcome of their cases, one is suspended but still being paid as he sits in Cape May County jail.
West Wildwood Officer Hannum
West Wildwood Officer Dylan Keenan-Hannum will appear in Cape May County Superior Court for a pre-indictment conference Jan. 24 in front of Judge Christine Smith, according to court officials.
Hannum was arrested Nov. 14 on charges of making terroristic threats, burglary, and simple assault, following a domestic altercation in Lower Township.
During a Dec. 3 West Wildwood Board of Commissioners meeting, commissioners and the town’s solicitor refused to answer questions about the officer’s status, other than to say that he was still employed, and that the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office was investigating.
Through a public records request, the Herald learned that Hannum is suspended with pay. He is the only one of the five Cape May County police officers currently facing criminal charges who is still being paid.
In an email to the Herald, West Wildwood Public Safety Commissioner John Banning said he made the decision to suspend the officer with pay.
“The final decision was mine. My decision was based after consultation with the borough’s legal counsel. I do not feel that I could divulge any recommendations or discussions at this time without first confirming with our legal counsel. In all fairness, I do not want to speak for our legal counsel and inadvertently misrepresent their opinions,” wrote Banning.
He later declined the offer of an interview with the borough’s legal counsel present. West Wildwood Police Chief Jacquelyn Ferentz did not respond to a request for comment.
According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by the Herald, neighbors of the alleged victim in the incident called 911 when she came to their door asking for help, saying Hannum had just assaulted her.
When officers arrived on scene, they found the alleged victim in tears. She showed police text messages Hannum had allegedly sent her, informing her he was in possession of a loaded firearm and intended to kill her and a new male friend, according to the affidavit. It is unclear if Hannum was referencing his duty weapon.
The alleged victim showed police photos Hannum had texted her earlier from inside her living room while she wasn’t home, showing him sitting waiting for her, the affidavit continued. It is alleged he obtained entry through a door previously damaged in an unreported domestic incident.
The affidavit claims Hannum left before she arrived home, but later returned and knocked on the door. The alleged victim let him enter to talk and an argument ensued, culminating in Hannum allegedly striking the victim in the front of her neck with an open hand and placing her in “an arm bar type hold” and pushing her down, causing her to complain of pain.
The affidavit also says the neighbors who reported the incident told investigators they witnessed multiple domestic violence incidents between the two but were begged by the alleged victim not to report the incidents because of her fear of causing problems at Hannum’s job.
Hannum is represented by defense lawyer Hercules Pappas, who did not respond to an email or voicemail left for him by the Herald.
Hannum is currently in Cape May County jail, according to a Dec. 27 sheriff’s list of inmates.