NEWARK, NJ — The Newark Department of Public Safety will advance its efforts to hold police officers accountable through a new reporting system, which will make the identities of officers who commit serious policy violations available to the public.
The reporting system will be made available this year on Newark Police Division’s website, according to Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose, and the names of officers going back to 2014 will be made available.
“While the vast majority of our officers serve honorably, this reporting system will make the public aware of the names of any officer who has been fired, demoted or suspended for more than five days due to a disciplinary violation of our policies,” Ambrose said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy supported a new directive from Attorney General Gurbir Grewal that requires all state, county and local law enforcement agencies to release the names of officers who commit serious violations on at least an annual basis. Grewal and Col. Pat Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said they would release names of state troopers who have committed major infractions over the past 20 years.
Grewal issued an internal affairs directive in late 2019 that allowed internal affairs files to be shared with civilian complaint review boards and required agencies to publish an annual synopsis of serious violations committed by officers. The directive allowed officers to remain anonymous, a stipulation Grewal now says does not go far enough in setting forth transparency.
“We are grateful that the Newark Police Division has a relationship of trust and transparency with the public,” Ambrose said. “This new policy will only help us to build upon that trust and to ensure that the men and women who serve our communities do so in a manner that’s above reproach.”