New Jersey police given 60 days to release 1st discipline reports

Gurbir Grewal
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal speaks during a press briefing in Bridgeton, New Jersey on May 24, 2021. Photo credit Joe Lamberti/USA TODAY Network Atlantic Group via Imagn Content Services, LLC

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Law enforcement agencies in New Jersey were given a 60-day deadline to begin releasing police disciplinary records Wednesday, two days after the state’s Supreme Court upheld the directive ordering their publication.

Law enforcement agencies must publish reports covering major discipline imposed from June 15, 2020 —the date of the original directive — through the end of the year. Going forward, they will be required to publish reports for each calendar year no later than January 31 of the following year.

Under the court’s 7-0 ruling, officers who were disciplined before that and were promised that their names would not be released can ask a judge to block the public disclosure.

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal ordered the release of the records in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, amid calls for more police transparency and accountability. Previously, the records have been treated as confidential.

The reports must identify officers who committed serious disciplinary violations resulting in termination, reduction in rank or grade or suspension of more than five days.

“By lifting the cloak of secrecy over our state’s police disciplinary process, we are not simply ensuring accountability for those who engage in misconduct; we are also demonstrating that the vast majority of law enforcement officers work hard and play by the rules,” Grewal said in a statement.