State faces road blocks in push to release police records

The state of New Jersey and the state police union have blocked the city of Paterson’s plans to publicly name police officers facing serious disciplinary violations.

News 12 Staff

Jun 25, 2020, 2:56 AM

Updated 1,398 days ago

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The state of New Jersey and the state police union have blocked the city of Paterson’s plans to publicly name police officers facing serious disciplinary violations.
The decision was made by the state Public Employment Relations Commission and the state Police Benevolent Association.
But at a virtual town hall meeting, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal again pushed for policies to hold police officers accountable for their actions. He referenced Officer Ryan Dubiel, who is now facing charges related to a pepper spray incident earlier this month in Woodlynne, Camden County. Dubiel had worked for several different police departments in a short period of time.
“An officer who jumped from department, to department, to department, to department, to department, to department, to department, to department, to department. Nine,” Grewal said. “Red flags all throughout the way.”
New Jersey currently does not have a database to track police officers who faced disciplinary actions, unless criminal charges are filed.
“There’s no room in the profession for someone like that who’s willing to tarnish the badge,” says Jiles Ship who represents African American law enforcement. Ship was part of the town hall and supports the policy to name officers who have gotten into trouble.
The New Jersey PBA celebrated the decision to keep the Paterson police records sealed.
"Disciplinary actions for more than five days can be handed out for uniform violations, loss of equipment or violations of departmental rules that have nothing to do with keeping bad cops off the streets,” the PBA and Public Employment Relations Commission said in a joint statement.
There have been dozens of protests throughout New Jersey and the country demanding change when it comes to policing in the United States. Ship says that something needs to be done to improve the relationship between police and the public.
“This part of transparency will help us maintain the public trust,” he says.
Photos: Protests Across New Jersey
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But Ship says that he admits that the public may never fully trust police officers again after incidents like the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh says that he will keep fighting for transparency in policing in Paterson and New Jersey. He says that the trust is needed now more than ever


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