To gain a better understanding of how many incidents of police use of force occur in the state, the full Assembly approved legislation Thursday, 69-2-6, sponsored by Assemblywomen Shavonda Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic), Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) and Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) to require the data collection and reporting.
The bill (A-4515) requires the State Attorney General (AG) to establish and implement an electronic data collection and reporting system through a secure portal for tracking incidents of use of force by law enforcement officers in this State.
The data collection and reporting system will be searchable by law enforcement agencies and members of the public with the AG required to develop guidelines to ensure accurate and secure transmission, storage, scrubbing, and analysis of the data in the collection and reporting system.
Currently, the AG operates a pilot program in six municipalities with the database that was to be accessible by July 1, 2020 and to the public at a later date. This legislation codifies the collection and reporting of police use of force occurrences statewide.
The Assemblywomen issued the following statement on the passage of the bill:
“With police use of force incidents coming to the forefront across the nation, we need to know where New Jersey stands in all of this. Requiring the reporting and collection of data on these incidents will help us to take steps to reduce these incidents. We will be able to identify trends in the data and help communities and police foster better, more positive relations.”