Immediate Release from NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan on the NJ Advance Media “Report” on Police Use of Force

A story today from NJ Advance Media (nj.com) on law enforcement use of force will look to develop controversy and discontent by providing data with little context about the use of force officers are required to use. Police officers face an unparalleled challenge of saving lives, restoring peace, and bringing criminals to justice. The situations they face are dynamic and involve split second decisions. They are not done within the safety and security of a newsroom. The actions they take can mean life or death. In 2016 alone over 1,800 New Jersey Police Officers were assaulted while doing the job of protecting the communities they serve. The number of assaults on officers increased 8% and contempt for law enforcement is a growing trend nationwide. Often thanks to irresponsible and half-written articles like the one released today.

Yes, law enforcement is permitted to use force, and newspapers buy ink in barrels. No revelations there. Unfortunately print media has all but disappeared and has been replaced with online news. When you can't count newspapers anymore to tout your commercial success you have to generate "clicks" to sell advertising at top dollar. Regretfully, that has led to the demise of legitimate journalism in this country.

I knew where this "investigative report" was going the moment I saw the teaser headings and salacious preview video. It worked a few months ago for another NJ news organization so why not give it a crack here at nj.com. They have provided you with a clickable database for watercooler banter today, nothing more. Like TMZ, Inside Edition and the like they are giving you a suggestive bit of sensational data to keep an unsuspecting public engaged. Regretfully and unfortunately they have only told half the story. True journalists at least attempt to tell an entire story.

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