FAIR LAWN, NJ - The local Police Benevolent Association president has responded to Gov. Phil Murphy's new directive that requires hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the state to reveal the names of cops who have been reprimanded or fired as “a step forward for transparency.”
The order from Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s office will require all state, county and local law enforcement agencies to release, at least on an annual basis, the identities of officers who have been terminated, demoted or suspended for more than five days by the end of 2020.
Luis Vasquez, President of Fair Lawn PBA Local 67, responded to a request for comment from TAPinto Fair Lawn/Glen Rock.
Q. How does the union feel about this?
Fair Lawn PBA Local 67 President: On a local level, the union does not agree with this. We don’t feel this is the best decision that could be made. As you can see, there are isolated incidents that happen throughout the U.S. that often show a few seconds of a clip or in most recent events, Mr. Floyd’s incident.
Let me be clear: what happened in Mr. Floyd’s case should not have happened. However, there are many cases in which officers are often charged by feeling rather than facts, and the power of social media, I believe, creates that. People do not know our training and most of the time what this job entails. I also sometimes think the AG has forgotten. While I do see what he is trying to accomplish in creating a transparency with the public, this is not the way to do so. They have created the early warning system, among other things, that I don’t feel has helped. Their biggest mistake was bail reform. There are solutions and I would welcome a conversation with them anytime.
There is a reason our community loves us, we should be an example. Just remember when it comes time to vote on who can make a better change for NJ for the people and not appease criminals.
Q. What is negative about the governor's directive to release the identities of officers who have been terminated, demoted or suspended for more than five days?
Fair Lawn PBA Local 67 President: The AG and the governor have just basically put a target on police officers once again.
Q. What is positive about it?
Fair Lawn PBA Local 67 President: Nothing.
Q. Will the union challenge it?
Fair Lawn PBA Local 67 President: I sure hope so. It needs to be challenged and our state should pursue legal action.