TRENTON, NJ – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin posted a wealth of information about police department internal affairs investigations online Sept. 7 in a searchable dashboard capable of filtering data by agency. enforcement, the types of allegations involved and what, if any, disciplinary action was taken. According to the NJ Attorney General’s Office, this is the most comprehensive compilation of statewide internal affairs information to be made publicly available by any state in the United States.
The Office of Public Integrity & Accountability believes the dashboard will serve as a tool for both law enforcement and the public, revealing the prevalence of various charges, where they surface and how they are handled through the process. internal affairs review.
The dashboard, available at njoag.gov/iapprepresents an unprecedented and ambitious effort by the Attorney General’s office to collect de-identified internal case information that had been dispersed among hundreds of agencies – information that had not previously been collected uniformly or shared with the public in a standardized format or central location.
“Fostering strong relationships between law enforcement and communities is essential to public safety. Transparency, fairness and mutual respect are key to building that essential trust,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “Our state’s new scorecard speaks to our law enforcement officers’ deep understanding that such trust is forged through meaningful actions that reflect the critical importance of this profession. Every effort to improve the accountability of our valued law enforcement officers today will help better protect members of our community tomorrow.
“Today, we are taking another step toward greater transparency and accountability in law enforcement with the release of our Internal Affairs Dashboard,” Platkin said. “The Office of Justice Data has aggregated an enormous amount of information to give New Jerseyans insight into internal affairs that no other state provides. Now, for the first time in state history, the public will be able to see, in one place, allegations and disciplinary actions taken in internal affairs cases across New Jersey.
“Few agencies or states release this information,” said OPIA executive director Tom Eicher. “Bringing this data to light will allow the public to look with a broader lens to see if the internal affairs system is functioning as it should.”
Eicher said the attorney general’s office is committed to reviewing the data to identify any patterns that may raise concerns that warrant further investigation.
“We always view this data as a means to improve internal business policies, procedures and oversight,” Eicher said.
Among the features of the new dashboard is the ability to filter data by active and closed investigations, as well as by county, agency, source of complaint and race of officers and complainants involved. The dashboard will also allow users to make side-by-side comparisons of two agencies, so the viewer can see if there is a significant disparity between internal affairs complaints of two otherwise similar entities. The names of the agents involved are not listed.
“The New Jersey State Police is committed to transparency and accountability, which helps build trust within the communities we serve,” said Col. Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of Police of New Jersey. the state of New Jersey. “With this dashboard, the public will gain additional insight into the internal investigative process that keeps our soldiers at the highest standards.”
New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police President Robert Fox and Executive Vice President Robert Gries said the FOP supports transparency in policing.
“We commend the Attorney General’s Office for supporting New Jersey law enforcement while establishing measures to provide transparency for our citizens,” they said in a joint statement.
Bishop Jethro James Jr., chairman of the Newark-North Jersey Committee of Black Churchmen, said the dashboard “is an indispensable tool for all police departments and communities. This tool will help identify problem areas within police departments statewide, and will also identify issues related to racial profiling, excessive use of force, and insensitivity of all.
The numbers now listed on the dashboard show active internal cases in 2021. The Office of Justice Data will update the statistics annually as new information is submitted by state police departments. Dashboard enhancements are also planned for 2022 that will allow a viewer to better understand how specific complaints are adjudicated, including whether an allegation started as a type of offense but was resolved as a lesser offense.