ACLU 10 Point Plan to Improve NJ Policing

  1. Stamp Out Racial Profiling Statewide
    Pass legislation that requires all police departments to track and report certain information on police stops, including the race of the person stopped.
  2. Release Critical Information on All Police Departments in New Jersey
    The Attorney General's office should annually compile and release the following information for every police department in the State, beginning immediately: 1) the number, nature, and result of all internal investigations, 2) the number, nature, and result of all citizen complaints, 3) the racial composition of the police force and the area represented, 4) the amount of taxpayer money paid to resolve police misconduct and whistleblower suits.
  3. Give Police the Right Tools to Prevent Officer Misconduct
    Require all police departments to use a successful police industry tool, called an Early Warning System (EWS). The EWS, which is endorsed by the US Department of Justice and Police Foundation, tracks “problem” indicators (complaints, weapon discharge reports, court rulings on officer conduct, etc.) so that individual officers can be given the supervision, psychiatric help, education, or discipline they need.
  4. Create Effective, Independent Police Review Systems
    The most effective police review model has three parts: 1) an independent Civilian Review Board to monitor complaints, 2) an independent auditing body to get information and recommend changes, and 3) an Inspector General attached to the police and supervised by the auditing body to oversee implementation of the recommendations. Adopt this model statewide, starting with the New Jersey State Police.
  5. Build Police Forces that Reflect the Community
    Recruiting and promotion of minorities must be vigorously addressed. Subjective screening that allows for racial discrimination must be changed. Take affirmative steps to correct the gross disparities in racial representation on police forces.
  6. Emphasize Ethics, Diversity, and Communication in Training
    Police training needs to be reconfigured to emphasize how to relate better to persons of different races, religions, and the opposite sex, as well as verbal deescalation techniques, communication skills, integrity, and ethics as an integral part of all training.
  7. Help Police Officers Deal with Stress
    Resources to help police officers manage stress, anger, and personal problems need to be substantially increased. Departments and the state should offer exchange programs with the private sector, as well as stress reduction, anger management, peer counseling, and psychiatric services.
  8. Protect Officers Who Promote Integrity
    Eliminate gag rules that prohibit individual officers from speaking publicly about police practices and misconduct; create independent mechanisms for officers to confidentially report police misconduct
  9. Whose Records? The Public's Records
    Revise New Jersey's inadequate Right to Know Law so that all government records are made available promptly and without the need for lawsuits.
  10. Expand Federal Resources and Involvement in Promotion of Good Policing
    New Jersey's elected officials must remind Washington of its responsibilities by:
    • telling Congress and the DOJ to meet its 1994 obligation to report on police misconduct nationwide,
    • demanding that resources for the DOJ's woefully-underfunded civil rights unit be expanded, and
    • collecting and forwarding police misconduct statistics from every police department in the state

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