Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

Pretrial release in the states

November 1, 2017

This article summarizes a new analysis of pretrial practices in the 50 states, with an emphasis on better risk assessment of arrestees and less reliance on traditional bail. Kentucky and Virginia have been leaders in validating assessments while New Jersey has effectively eliminated secured money bail. However, many states have yet to adopt reforms, despite the nonpartisan nature of the issue. The full report is available here.

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Transparency or public relations?

October 26, 2017

This article reviews police practices in releasing body cam video, noting a tendency to promote positive stories while refusing to provide video in situations where actions might have been improper. This pattern risks hurting police legitimacy if the public comes to believe that officials are cherry-picking what to release rather than truly honoring transparency.

Impact of social media

September 21, 2017

A colloquium on “The impact of social media on crime, terrorism, and national security” recently held at Rutgers University featured law enforcement, national security, and civil liberties experts. Here is a video link to the 90-minute event.

Layoffs in Bergen County, NJ

July 3, 2017

The Bergen County Police Department was merged into the county’s sheriff department in 2015 as the Bureau of Police Services, with its union and pay scales intact. This week, 26 officers were laid off and another 11 were demoted. The sheriff cites state-mandated deputy staffing in court security positions, while the officers claim union-busting, according to this article.

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.