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State unveils new plan for Paterson Police Department reform following takeover

Attorney General Matt Platkin unveiled a strategic plan on Tuesday for the department’s future.

Chris Keating

Sep 26, 2023, 12:33 PM

Updated 266 days ago

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The operations of the Paterson Police Department was taken over by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General six months ago.
Attorney General Matthew Platkin says that crime has been down in the city since his department took over.
“A year-over-year comparison shows that the most violent crimes – murders, sexual assaults, robberies - are down 26%. Shooting incidents are down 32%,” Platkin said.
The man leading the Paterson Police Department is Officer in Charge Isa Abbassi.
“We are moving the Paterson Police Department forward to become a more transparent and accountable organization that can serve the people of Paterson with the fairness and the constitutional focus our residents demand,” Abbassi said.
The two released a plan on Tuesday which is designed to restore public trust, improve community policing, collect data on crime with improved technology and increase recruitment and training. Other changes have already taken place.
All officers have cellphones, mental health or social workers are going out on calls with cops when necessary and all police officers are carrying pepper spray and tasers, not just handguns.
“It is now mandatory that officers are properly equipped to provide alternatives to deadly force in certain situations,” Abbassi said.
The city of Paterson is getting this done with the help of $10 million in state funding.
The state takeover of the Paterson Police Department came about after the shooting death of Najee Seabrooks. Police officers shot and killed Seabrooks while he was high on drugs and in the middle of a mental health crisis.
Platkin told members of the media that as of this moment, there is no end date concerning the takeover of the Paterson Police Department.


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