Law Enforcement Officers Face Major Discipline in 2022: AG’s Office Reveals Details

The Attorney General’s Office of New Jersey has made public the names of law enforcement officers who faced major disciplinary actions from their agencies in 2022. The release is part of the Attorney General’s ongoing efforts to increase transparency and accountability in the policing profession. The disclosure is being provided in compliance with the Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive 2021-6, which authorized the public release of certain police disciplinary information.

In June 2021, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order mandating the release of such information. Under the directive, all New Jersey law enforcement agencies must submit on an annual basis a major-discipline reporting form to the Attorney General’s Office containing the names of officers subjected to “major discipline” along with a brief synopsis of the conduct that led to the penalties. The information is also published on the individual agencies’ websites.

Attorney General Platkin said, “Today’s release of information reflects our continuing commitment to increased transparency and accountability in the policing profession.” Furthermore, the attorney revealed that the enhanced level of transparency builds upon the work of the directive he issued in November 2021 and complimented the police licensing bill, which was supported by his office and law enforcement leadership statewide, passed by the legislature, and signed into law by Governor Murphy. Greater transparency helps the vast majority of New Jersey’s law enforcement officers who serve with honor, professionalism, and courage, to carry out their duties more effectively and safely in service to the people of the state.

The released information includes officers who were suspended for more than five days, demoted, or terminated. Pending cases are not included in this data. Only sustained charges resulting in final sanctions or plea agreements are listed by the submissions.

The disclosures show that the most frequently occurring offenses in 2022 were related to attendance, including lateness and call-outs too close to the start of a shift. Approximately four percent of all major disciplinary actions reported for 2022 mentioned violations involving the use of force.

The 2022 submissions comply with AG Directive 2022-14, issued in November 2022, which expanded the list of infractions that would be considered major discipline. It includes discriminatory conduct, filing a false report, and intentionally performing an improper search, among other things. However, AG Directive 2022-14 was not in effect for this reporting period. Therefore, those violations are not listed in this year’s release. The first-year data under that new directive will be released in 2024, covering the 2023 calendar year.

The Office of the Attorney General is in the process of working with the 21 County Prosecutors to ensure that pre-2022 disclosures reflect the level of detail now required by the directive. The information being released is available online at a newly created dashboard. It is now accessible to the public for scrutiny.

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