Planet Princeton

NJ attorney general announces statewide initiative to strengthen police and community relations

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal today announced a new initiative called the 21st Century Community Policing Project that was created in an attempt to promote stronger police-community relations.

Town hall meetings, discussions and other events will take place in each county a minimum four times every year. The new website nj.gov/oag/2121 will be a clearinghouse for information about the initiative.

More than 80 events are scheduled across the state in the next 12 months with a goal of strengthening the bonds between law enforcement and the broader community, Grewal said.

“Every day, law enforcement officers across New Jersey work closely with the members of the public to keep our streets safe,” Grewal said. “But that does not mean we cannot do better, and strengthening police-community relations in New Jersey is one of my top priorities.  Despite the best efforts of many people, we know that divides exist in some instances between law enforcement and the communities they serve.  In certain cases, these divides have been created by misunderstandings rooted in past events, and in other cases, they are based on misperceptions about law enforcement.”

Under the new initiative, each county prosecutor will be responsible for organizing and hosting a public meeting every quarter with community leaders.Before each meeting, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office will provide the prosecutors with content and other material relevant to that quarter’s topic.

The meetings will be open to the public, and the county prosecutors will be asked to extend invitations to a broad range of community leaders, including representatives from local law enforcement, religious groups, civil rights organizations, high schools, colleges, universities, and
municipal alliance committees.

In the spring, the topic will be investigations of shootings involving police officers. In the summer the topic will be opioids. In the fall law enforcement officials will discuss immigration enforcement. In the winter the topic will be bias crimes.

The attorney general will attend at least one meeting in each of the 21 counties. A county-by-county schedule of events planned for Spring 2018 is posted on the 21/21 Community Policing Project webpage at www.nj.gov/oag/2121.

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Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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