Advocacy E-news July 27, 2020
July 27, 2020
PUBLIC INPUT ON POLICE USE OF FORCE WANTED
Help shape the future of policing in New Jersey. Share your views about how we should update the statewide Use of Force Policy.
In December 2019, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal launched the Excellence in Policing initiative, a sweeping set of policing reforms designed to promote the culture of professionalism, accountability, and transparency that are hallmarks of New Jersey’s best law enforcement agencies. In June 2020, Attorney General Grewal announced the next phase of the initiative, including plans to revise the state’s “Use of Force Policy” for the first time in two decades.
To facilitate this effort, the Attorney General is partnering with the state’s County Prosecutors to host listening sessions this summer in all twenty-one of New Jersey’s counties. The Attorney General also welcomes input directly from the public. In the form below, please share your thoughts on the state’s current Use of Force Policy and any ideas you have for updating it.
A NJ STATE TROOPER FATALLY SHOT A BLACK MAN. NOW THE CASE RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING FOR OFFICERS
Two days before George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, another Black man was fatally shot by a New Jersey State Trooper during a traffic stop on the Garden State Parkway. Dashcam videos and 911 recordings released by the state Attorney General’s Office show that he interacted with six officers—five of whom were state troopers—during four different encounters on the same day. All were unaware he’d been stopped before. Read what led to his death despite the efforts of friends to get him help.
BILL TO EXPAND CRISIS INTERVENTION TRAINING FOR POLICE OFFICERS APPROVED BY ASSEMBLY PANEL
Crisis intervention training prepares law enforcement officers should they need to respond to an incident involving someone with mental illness. With the goal to expand this training for law enforcement across New Jersey, legislation was approved Monday by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee. The bill (A-4366) would require the Police Training Commission (PTC) to contract with the New Jersey Crisis Intervention Team Center of Excellence to assist and support counties in developing and implementing crisis intervention training. The PTC would require every county and municipal police officer to complete training.
GREENWALD INTRODUCES SWEEPING BILL PACKAGE TO ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH IN NJ SCHOOLS
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic led to a public health emergency and a shutdown of the State, one-in-five students nationwide were already struggling with a mental health condition. Without in-person schooling, many students may not have access to that care elsewhere. In response to this crisis, Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald has introduced a five-bill package of landmark legislation aimed at improving mental health supports in the wake of the coronavirus.
BILL TO PROTECT MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS FROM INTERRUPTED SERVICE INTRODUCED
In an effort to protect New Jersey residents receiving publicly financed mental health, behavioral health and addiction services, Senate President Steve Sweeney introduced legislation that would ensure and improve the delivery of these services, without disruption, in all future state contracts.
The bill, S-2708, would require state contracts to contain a commitment that service will not be disrupted or delayed by labor disputes. Under a temporary provision in the bill, during the COVID-19 State of Emergency service providers contracted with the state are required to outfit their employees with proper personal protective equipment, regular testing, reporting and training.