JERSEY CITY, NJ - Members of the advisory committee to review the Jersey City police department’s policies and procedures were named this week by Council President Joyce Watterman – part of what she claimed was a vigorous selection process.
The committee will meet for the first time on July 2.
This comes at a time when police department policies nationwide are coming under scrutiny especially in regard to use of force. While Mayor Steven Fulop has proposed a number of changes to the department in particular how police officers are trained, a number of civic groups have pushed for more local scrutiny.
Watterman’s committee is seen as the possible first step to eventual development of a civilian review board.
“After reviewing the resumes of numerous well-qualified candidates, I am confident in these distinguished leaders of our community for their passion, professional background and expertise relation to this issue,” Watterman said. “We will rely on each one of them t come in with an objective mind to ensure we will make effective progress.
The ad hoc committee will submit their first report to the city council of its findings and recommendations within 30 days of their first meeting. Some concepts to be reviewed by the committee include de-escalation procedures, racial inherent bias and use of force practices.
Asked about the appointments Carmine Disbrow, President of the JCPOBA, reiterated his stance that the union, with what he called a “long history” of seeking out ways to engage the community, is prepared to meet with the committee. “We hope they will allow us to share the experience and expertise of our members,” he said.
Appointed to serve were:
- Judge Joseph Charles Jr. Charles is a retired Superior Court Family Division of Hudson County. Judge Charles was a judge on the Vicinage 6 Superior Court in New Jersey. He was appointed to the court in 2003 and obtained tenured status in 2010 having served on the court until 2014. Charles also served as state senator.
- Neal E. Brunson, Esq. A member of the NAACP member, and principal of the Law Office of Neal E. Brunson, Esq, is a trial attorney responsible for all aspects of litigation in employment, personal injury, and criminal cases. Neal also serves as the Executive Director of the Afro-American historical Society Museum in Jersey City for over 20 years. He served as the Commissioner of Civil Rights in the Borough of Rutherford.
- Carmen E. Mendiola, Esq. Mendiola is the principal of The Law Office of Camren E. Mendiola in Jersey City, a firm that focuses on Workers Compensation, Immigration, and Criminal defense. Mendiola currently serves as the Deputy Counsel to Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholder, where she handles all matters pertaining to the Board and Litigation of related matters. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the Special Improvement District Jersey City, L.U.P.E. (Latinas United for Political Empowerment) and Board member of Hudson County CASA.
- Karindu M. Hill. A resident of Jersey City since 1993, Hill is a Deacon and Minister-In-Training, as well as the Resource Team Leader, of Better Life Ministry, an initiative proposed by him to address the issues of the community. As the ABLM Resource Team leader, Hill implemented an annual Mentorship Fair for youth and their parents to meet service providers. Hill has also served a substitute teacher for the Board of Education, an athletic coach at Snyder High School, and as a board member for the University Academy Charter High School.where
- Anthony Mitchell. Mitchell is the founder and President of the Lexington Avenue Neighborhood Association, and serves as an active member of the Lincoln Park Neighborhood Watch. Mitchell is the former Chief of Staff to NJ Assemblyman Charles Mainor, and currently as a staff representative for Communication Workers of America (CWA) union where he process grievances, attend member instigator meetings, and conducts one-on-one organizing both internally and externally, recruit supports, guide their activities and identify attitudes of individual workers.
- Francis R. Gajewski. A former Ward A Councilman, Gajewski climbed the ranks of the Jersey City Police Department, eventually serving as Chief of Police. His areas of police management areas of expertise include: community policing where he managed the Jersey City approach to drug and violent crime problems in Public Housing and designed and implemented Community Policing in the JCPD. He introduced computer crime mapping within the JCPD as management tool making Jersey City one of the first police department in the U.S. to utilize this technology.
- Jocelyn D. Patrick. Patrick is president of the Riverview Neighborhood Association and founder of Tech4results, where she provides tech support, project management services and vendor management to small and medium-sized businesses. Patrick implemented and managed the first employee training program for software beginning with Microsoft Office at Westwood One and implemented a new Human Resources IT On-Boarding form/process at College Board where she previously served as the Senior Director.
- Horace E. Anderson Jr. Anderson currently serves at the Dean of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, where he leads the school in overseeing policy regarding enrollment management, career, professional development, academic programs, and research centers. He has been teaching Sunday school at Lafayette Presbyterian Church for the past three years in addition to having served on the Board of Trustees for the Learning Community Charter School for 6 years
- Asheenia Johnson. Johnson is the former Chief of Staff to Ward F Councilman Jermaine D. Robinson where she has assisted constituents and community members with better quality of life issues and needs. Currently a mentor of Big Brothers Big Sisters and a first responder for United Rescue Jersey City, Johnson also serves as a volunteer for the Jersey City Public Safety Advisory Board.
- Pamela N. Johnson. Johnson is the Founder and Executive Director of the Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County and Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement where she creates support programs for victims of violence and their families and implements and executes community advocacy programs and creates and coordinates events that empower the community including organization’s “Occupy the Corners”, Youth Summit, Unity Walk, and Family Fun Day Events. She is also the Community outreach and External Relations Director of Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center.
Councilmembers Mira Prinz-Arey and Councilman Yousef Saleh will reprepresent the legislative body.
Support for the committee will be provided by Hudson County Community College students who, under the direction of Dr. Jerry Darryl Thurston Wilson Lamb, provide research and other assistance.
Editor's Note: The publisher of TAPinto Jersey City also serves as a communications consultant for the JCPOBA
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