Bill to Allow Attorney General to Step into Internal Affairs Role in Troubled County/Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies

An Assembly Panel approved legislation today to establish a pilot program that would give the Attorney General the authority to take over a county or municipal law enforcement agencies’ internal affairs office under certain circumstances.

The legislation was sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon M. Johnson and Peter J Barnes III.

The sponsors note the bill was proposed in response to the allegations of misconduct in Edison Police Department’s internal affairs unit late last year. As a result, the Attorney General’s Office now oversees the unit’s Internal Affairs Division requiring monthly reports on all investigations.

“With literally hundreds of law enforcement agencies in New Jersey, ranging in size from just a few officers up to several hundred, there is no uniform internal control,” said Assemblyman Barnes (D-Edison). “Transferring oversight will ensure that allegations of police misconduct will be investigated promptly and fairly.”

Currently each law enforcement agency has an internal affairs unit that is responsible for receiving, investigating and resolving complaints made against law enforcement officers in that agency.

“When a local law enforcement agency operates inefficiently and ineffectively, it is not serving the public,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “In these situations, agencies require oversight and management to get the unit back on track. AG’s involvement will ensure these agencies are operating honorably, fairly and in accordance with the law.”

Under the provisions, of the bill, county and municipal law enforcement agencies selected for the pilot program would no longer perform these internal affairs functions. The Attorney General would select the county and municipal law enforcement agencies to participate in the pilot program and would determine the criteria. A report evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot program from the Attorney General would be submitted to the Governor and Legislature at the end of the program. In addition the report would make the recommendation as to whether the program should be expanded to include all county and municipal law enforcement agencies.

The Assembly Judiciary Panel approved the measure today; it now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration. TLS.

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  1. why are you showing Lakewood Police Departments patch with this article???? you are misleading readers that there is a need for this here in our town. please remove this picture and get original.

  2. To: oh boy says– “…misleading readers…”? I don’t think so. Lots of TLS posters complain about how lax LPD is – ref:cell phones, double parking, poor driving, etc.

  3. Hey #4, the LPD does go out there EVERY day and enforce these violations, BUT, then certain Officers are harassed by other publications in this town for doing their job. How about this, how about people in this town start taking responsibility and register their cars, get off the phone, stop at stop signs, don’t double park, etc etc…so if you want enforcement , don’t cry then when you get it!!!

  4. Maybe now LPD can finally go after the bad, inconsiderate and careless drivers in this town without fear of someone with pull making a phone call. A level playing field would be nice.
    LPD has one of the toughest jobs in this state. They earn every penny they make and you couldn’t pay them enough.

  5. To Mr. Wrong, why would you need to run? If you abide by the traffic laws, you will not be stopped. What makes you think you would be mistreated anyway??? Stop being coddled by everyone, grow up. And you named yourself Mr. Wrong, because you are WRONG….

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