Paterson releasing names of disciplined cops — could be first in NJ
Paterson's police department is the first local department to announce plans for releasing the the names of officers who have been disciplined available to the public -- expecting to make 20 year's worth available within weeks.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal will require every state, county, and local law enforcement agency in New Jersey to publish a list of officers who have been fired, demoted, or suspended for more than five days due to a disciplinary violation by Dec. 31.
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said the release by July 15 in his city is a natural fit with the "tools of trust" he said have been in place to improve relations between police and the public.
"This initiative will help us reassure Patersonians that we take protecting and serving our city very seriously," Sayegh said in a statement.
No other local departments have announced plans to release their lists.
State Police will also release their own 20-year list on July 15, along with the Division of Criminal Justice and the Juvenile Justice Commission. Officers who will be included will be notified prior to their release.
"For decades, New Jersey has not disclosed the identities of law enforcement officers who commit serious disciplinary violations. Today, we end the practice of protecting the few to the detriment of the many. Today, we recommit ourselves to building a culture of transparency and accountability in law enforcement," Grewal said.
The state list includes the names of troopers in about 430 cases, Grewal said.
Pat Colligan, the president of the NJ State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, has objected to the releases saying “serious disciplinary violation” is an arbitrary term and cops who've committed all sorts of violations will be lumped together.
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