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    Chapter 17B: Establishment of department; "the department" defined

      Section: 52:17B-223: Findings, declarations relative to law enforcement professional standards.

2. The Legislature finds and declares:

a. The citizens of the State of New Jersey are entitled to be protected and served by law enforcement professionals who conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of integrity, proficiency, and accountability.

b. In December 1999, the State of New Jersey entered into a consent decree with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, No. 99-5970 (MLC).

c. The Governor's Advisory Committee on Police Standards, established pursuant to Executive Order No. 29, issued by Governor Corzine on August 23, 2006, conducted a thorough examination of the policies and practices of the State Police and its compliance with the terms of the consent decree and of the Attorney General's Office's oversight and direction. The Advisory Committee on Police Standards concluded that the State Police, the Office of State Police Affairs, and the Attorney General had worked cooperatively to rebuild public trust through significant revisions of State Police standing operating procedures, by changing the relationship between the Attorney General's Office and the State Police, and through the development of innovative management techniques. Based upon these findings, the Advisory Committee recommended that the State join in a motion with the United States Department of Justice to terminate the consent decree, subject to the condition that the significant reforms accomplished during the term of the consent decree would be institutionalized, and, as appropriate, codified by statute.

d. The objective monitoring and independent oversight functions performed by the independent monitoring team appointed by the United States District Court pursuant to the consent decree have helped to promote and support the vigorous, lawful, and non-discriminatory implementation of law enforcement practices and procedures. In recognition of the strong public interest in perpetuating the quality and standards established under the consent decree, it is necessary and appropriate to maintain an office to assume the functions that had been performed by the independent monitoring team under the consent decree and to perform other duties in support of county and municipal law enforcement agencies.

e. Many of the reforms accomplished under the consent decree have been codified in rules, regulations, standing operating procedures or operations instructions promulgated by the superintendent and approved by the independent monitoring team appointed by the United States District Court. However, the need for flexibility to account for developments in constitutional law, the advent of new technologies, and the development of new best practices in policing, makes it impracticable and inappropriate to codify all consent decree-related rules, regulations, standing operating procedures and operations instructions in statutory law. Rather, the reforms achieved under the consent decree can best be institutionalized by mandating that any future changes to State Police rules, regulations, standing operating procedures and operations instructions relating to the consent decree are approved in writing by the Attorney General prior to issuance or adoption by the superintendent, and by ensuring the issuance or modification of any rule, regulation, standing operating procedure or operations instruction deemed necessary to maintain or enhance the practices of the Division of State Police on matters pertaining to any applicable non-discrimination policy established by the Attorney General; the law of arrest, search and seizure; and the documentation of motor vehicle stops and law enforcement activities occurring during the course of motor vehicle stops.

L.2009, c.121, s.2.

This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2012-09-26 13:37:55.

Older versions of 52:17B-223 (if available):

Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.