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HomenewsReform of New Jersey's Troubled Police Force "Won't Happen Overnight," Says the...

Reform of New Jersey’s Troubled Police Force “Won’t Happen Overnight,” Says the Attorney General.

After years of problems, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General took over the Paterson Police Department last week. They asked for patience as they try to fix the troubled department.

“Reform won’t happen overnight,” the office said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are still committed to improving communication with community partners and the people of the City of Paterson, as well as helping the Paterson Police Department grow and improve.”

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Attorney General Matthew Platkin warned that some of the changes will be obvious to the public and others may not be so obvious for “operational purposes.” He also said that the whole process will take a lot of time and work and will continue over the next few weeks and months.

The move was a takeover of operations and put out of work the police chief, Englebert Ribeiro, who had just been sworn in three weeks before. Isa M. Abbassi, who has worked for the New York Police Department for 25 years and is currently the chief of strategic initiatives, will run the department starting in May. He was chosen by Platkin.

Platkin said that in the meantime, New Jersey State Police Maj. Frederick Fife will be in charge of the department’s 400 officers. Chief Ribeiro was taken off of command, but he is still with the department. He just took over at the beginning of March.

Up until a few weeks ago, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office was in charge of the department’s internal affairs bureau.

In the past few years, at least a dozen officers have been charged with corruption. This is part of an FBI investigation into a group of officers called the “robbery squad” who would try to get money from suspects and locals.

Residents have complained and sometimes protested over and over again about how police use force. Anti-violence activist Najee Seabrooks, 31, was shot and killed by police on March 3 after a long standoff during what seemed to be a mental health crisis. This month, protesters took to the streets again to show their anger.

The office said that since Fife and others took over the department last week, they have been reviewing, evaluating, and analyzing information, procedures, policies, equipment, staffing, and the way the department works as a whole.

This week, officers got training on “constitutional policing with compassion.” The training included classroom sessions on Fourth Amendment law as well as participation in situations that are likely to come up in everyday police work, such as stopping cars, the office said.

Platkin said that the new leadership team is also in the process of coordinating training so that more officers can be given Tasers. This will give them another less-lethal option when de-escalation techniques don’t work.

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Parvesh is the Content Writer for New Jersey Local News. Here at New Jersey Local News, she covers local news of New Jersey state. Moreover, Parvesh likes to dance and listen to music. She also finds time in her hectic schedule to relax and spend time with loved ones.


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