New Jersey launches online dashboard documenting internal police investigations

File photo: New Jersey State Police cars parked on West State Street, Trenton, outside the capitol complex. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

File photo: New Jersey State Police cars parked on West State Street, Trenton, outside the capitol complex. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

New Jersey has unveiled a new dashboard that allows people to review internal investigations being conducted in police departments in the Garden State.

The dashboard allows users to filter the investigations by law enforcement agencies, the types of allegations involved, and if any disciplinary action was taken.

“Fostering strong relationships between law enforcement and communities is essential to public safety,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a release. “Transparency, fairness, and mutual respect are foundational to building that essential trust.”

“Today we take another step toward greater transparency and accountability in law enforcement through the release of our Internal Affairs Dashboard,” Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin said in the release. “The Office of Justice Data aggregated a tremendous amount of information to give New Jerseyians insight into internal affairs cases that no other state provides. Now for the first time in state history, the public will be able to see, all in one location, the allegations and disciplinary action taken in internal affairs cases across New Jersey.”

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According to the dashboard, more than half of the complaints against officers have come from civilians.

The numbers listed on the dashboard showed the internal affairs cases still active, 14,416 as of 2021. A different tab breaks down data on investigations that have been closed, including the number of officers involved, average length of investigations, and unique incidents.

Last year’s data shows only 35 municipalities out of over 565 in New Jersey reported no issues with officers.

The Office of Justice Data said it will update statistics on an annual basis, as new information is submitted by police agencies around the state.

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Dashboard enhancements are also being planned later this year that will give users a better understanding on how specific complaints are made, including whether an allegation started as one type of offense but was resolved as a lesser infraction.

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