MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The discussion at this week's Maplewood Community Board on Police meeting looked at how this year's data and initial goals will inform next year’s objectives.
Deputy Chief of Police Albert Sally and Erin Scherzer, chair of the Community Board on Police, shared the final 2020 report on the incidents where Maplewood police officers used force. There have been nine incidents since September where MPD used force. The breakdown of incidents included five emotionally disturbed persons, two incidents of domestic violence, one D.U.I. and one standard arrest. From those nine incidents there were in total 28 use of force reports.
“In our community we have multiple officers who respond when anything happens — whether force is used or not — which is why you often will see more uses of force but the number of incidents is actually small,” explained Scherzer. When “anyone...lays hands on someone we end up with a use of force report.”
She went on to explain that as chair she would normally go into police headquarters to also review the bodycam footage of the use of force incidents however that has been delayed this time around due to the pandemic.
The Board is also reviewing applications for a seat that will become vacant in 2021. Another seat, reserved for a member of SOMA Action, will become available in 2021. The board will be choosing from three potential candidates nominated by SOMA Action. Both people selected would become voting members of the board who can serve a maximum of two 3-year terms consecutively.
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