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We remain disappointed that this issue is being fought in the courts, especially since we have consistently said that we are willing to work with the Attorney General towards a fair resolution.

The ruling today that supports the Attorney General’s decree is yet another attack against the good men and women in law enforcement serving communities honorably throughout New Jersey.

The Attorney General should know that there is very little benefit to publicly shaming law enforcement officers past and present. While we do not oppose releasing information on officers who violate the public trust or the civil rights of our citizens, “major discipline” in this decree is often a compilation of minor events or departmental rule infractions that led to a suspension of more than five days. Unfortunately, this type of discipline varies wildly from Department to Department. This document dump therefore is misleading the public about officer behavior and we believe the only outcome will be to discredit all of law enforcement.

We will not protect bad actors who violate the public trust and the civil rights of our citizens, but the Attorney General’s decree being moved through the courts is sacrificing individual fairness for a political soundbite. We believe there are much better solutions to address officer misconduct and we find it to be stunning that the Attorney General refused our outreach to implement them and even more puzzling that he hasn’t given his own programs on training, officer intervention programs and resiliency a chance to prove they can work.

The State PBA has for decades fought to make New Jersey’s law enforcement officers the most professional and best trained in the nation.  While we too are angered when police officers abuse their power, we also believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally under the law.  Police officers especially.  Unfortunately, the Attorney General’s “Major Discipline” Directive does not treat every officer equally. 

While the term “major discipline” sounds like an officer has severely violated the public trust, in reality police officer discipline wildly differs from town to town.  Major discipline in some places could be handed down for a uniform violation.  The Attorney General’s Directive is far too broad and it treats all officers unequally.  While we have pledged to work with the Attorney General on enhancing our profession this new policy does not recognize those arbitrary differences.  The Policy is going to smear officers unfairly who have not violated the public trust and I would respectfully suggest it needs to go back to the drawing board.

I have directed Legal Counsel for the State PBA to review the policy to ensure that officer rights are protected.

View Official Statement Here