Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration is spending $167,550 to conduct an audit of the Paterson Police Department.
Sayegh had promised to conduct an audit last January following the death of Jameek Lowery to rebuild trust between police and the community. Lowery’s death sparked days of peaceful and violent protests.
“We want to identify areas of improvement so we can usher in a new era of 21st Century Policing in Paterson,” said Sayegh on Wednesday morning.
Municipal officials awarded the $167,550 contract to conduct the audit to Washington D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum on Tuesday.
Five firms competed for the contract. Police Executive Research Forum was given the highest proposal score for the job. Other firms to submit proposals were CNA of Arlington, VA; Matrix Consulting of Sant Mateo, Calf.; Berry Dunn McNeil & Parker of Portland, ME; and Verry/Shea of West Long Branch.
What will the firm be doing as part of the audit? The audit will look at five areas:
- Police operations, practices, and functions
- Organizational structure and management systems
- Accountability measures and metrics
- Use of force procedures and trainings
- And community relations and transparency.
Contract for the audit was approved without opposition from City Council members. Previously, some council members worried the audit was a ploy by the mayor to go after police chief Troy Oswald.
Oswald is retiring on Feb. 1, 2020 as part of a settlement agreement, resolving the dispute between the popular chief and the Sayegh administration.
Council president Maritza Davila on Tuesday urged the mayor and his administration to conduct similar assessments and audits of other departments within the municipal government.
The audit contract is for 12 months, according to government records.
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