The New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission issued an injunction on Wednesday temporarily barring mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration from releasing 20 years’ worth of police misconduct information.
Sayegh had hoped to release the information by July 15 to strengthen police-community ties through transparency. His decision was made in conjunction with New Jersey attorney general Gurbir Grewal’s directive requiring all law enforcement agencies to identify officers who were fired, demoted, or suspended for more than five days because of a disciplinary violation every year.
First annual report is to be published no later than December 31, according to Grewal’s directive. New Jersey State Police is releasing 20 years of disciplinary records by July 15.
New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission’s decision applies just to Paterson. Other law enforcement agencies have also publicly announced plans to release past police disciplinary records.
The state and Paterson police unions celebrated the injunction. A statement issued by the unions read, “While the public has been led to believe that issues involving ‘major discipline’ are serious violations of the public trust the reality is that the term is misleading. The State PBA and PBA Local 1 believe that releasing this information serves no public safety benefit and puts the lives, livelihoods and welfare of their members and families at undue risk.”
New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission will issue a final decision on July 17.
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