Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

COP awards in New Jersey

May 23, 2017

This story reports on several police departments recently recognized by the New Jersey Attorney General for community policing initiatives aimed at building trust and increasing transparency, including Newark and Camden and some smaller agencies.

Police salaries in New Jersey

May 16, 2017

This article reports municipal police salaries throughout New Jersey, where the median last year was $105,000, not counting overtime. By comparison, median household income in the state is $72,000. Analysis indicates that the highest salaries tend to be in communities with the least violent crime.

Minimizing harm, saving lives

April 3, 2017

This article with videos reviews changes made to police tactics and culture in Camden, New Jersey since 2013. The department adopted “scoop and go” for gunshot victims, emphasizes that repositioning is not retreating when facing armed suspects, and prefers warnings over traffic tickets. The chief considers himself an unlikely reformer, having gotten the position because “he looks like he won’t get indicted in the next six months — he’ll do.”

Making the transition from soldier to cop

March 31, 2017

This article highlights challenges faced by officers and their departments when transitioning from combat to civilian policing. National data are elusive but the rate of psychological issues, including PTSD and suicide, seems higher among returning soldiers. In addition, veterans’ preference in police hiring often interferes with efforts to increase the number of women and minority officers.

Police reform in Newark

December 31, 2016

Homicides are down 10% this year in Newark, New Jersey as the police department begins reform under a federal consent decree. This 2016 Frontline documentary provides a gritty picture of violence and policing in the city and explores the intersection of civil rights, accountability, and transparency.

The evolution of MS13

December 2, 2016

Insight Crime has published a 3-part series on the recent evolution of the US/Salvadoran gang MS13. Part 1 describes how the gang struck up a partnership with Mexican cartels in 2011, Part 2 traces the gang’s effort to combine its east and west coast factions into a “national project,” and Part 3 details its most recent effort in 2015 to coordinate cliques based in several different states. Federal indictments have consistently interrupted the gang’s plans but leaders in prison in both countries still seem to exercise considerable influence over their members.

Directed patrol not a quota

November 21, 2016

The police union in Camden, New Jersey filed suit in 2008 claiming that the department’s requirement that officers complete a certain number of directed patrol contacts per shift amounted to an illegal quota. The suit was dismissed in federal district court (the officers also alleged violations of whistleblower, family medical leave, and free speech protections), and by this opinion the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed that mandating public contacts is not the same as setting an enforcement quota.

NIBIN still underutilized

October 7, 2016

NIBIN is the computer system used to match guns, bullets, and shell casings. It is a potentially valuable investigative tool if, for example, police recover shell casings at a shooting scene and can connect them to a gun or ballistic evidence from prior cases. However, mainly due to technology and staffing costs, NIBIN is not available to all police agencies and is often underutilized by those that have it, according to this article.

It’s about democracy

September 9, 2016

Here’s an interview with an NYU professor leading a project aimed at defusing current conflicts over police accountability and transparency. The main focus is to increase opportunities for public input to police policy making so that police governance is more democratic.

Slowing down & speeding up

September 7, 2016

This 3-minute audio report from NPR provides an example from Camden, NJ of deescalation and “slowing things down.” This article discusses the recent high-speed chase in North Carolina that resulted in the fatal shooting of a deaf man.