SENATE, No. 655

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Senator  SANDRA B. CUNNINGHAM

District 31 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Rice and Lesniak

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires law enforcement agencies in this State to establish minority recruitment and selection programs; establishes reporting requirement.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act requiring State, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies to establish minority recruitment and selection programs and supplementing Title 52 of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    For the purposes of this act: 

     “Law enforcement agency" means a department, division, bureau, commission, board or other authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof which has by statute or ordinance the responsibility of detecting and enforcing the general criminal laws of this State.

     "Law enforcement officer" means any person who is employed as a permanent full-time member of an enforcement agency, who is statutorily empowered to act for the detection, investigation, arrest,  and conviction of persons violating the criminal laws of this State and statutorily required to successfully complete a training course approved, or certified as being substantially equivalent to such an approved course, by the Police Training Commission pursuant to P.L.1961, c.56 (C.52:17B-66 et seq.).

 

     2.    a.  Each law enforcement agency in this State shall establish a minority recruitment and selection program in accordance with guidelines established by the Attorney General pursuant to section 4 of this act.  The program shall ensure that the agency is comprised of law enforcement officers who reflect the diversity of the population of the community the agency is charged with protecting by:

     (1)   setting specific goals for recruiting and hiring minorities and females;

     (2)   establishing time frames for meeting these goals;

     (3)   describing methods of evaluating whether these goals are met; and

     (4)   setting forth corrective action to be taken if the agency fails to meet these goals.

     b.    The minority recruitment and selection program established pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be posted on the official Internet website of each law enforcement agency.

     c.     The county prosecutor shall monitor the results of the minority recruitment and selection programs established by county and municipal law enforcement agencies within the jurisdiction of the prosecutor as required in subsection a. of this section.  The county prosecutor shall annually report this information to the Attorney General.

     d.    The Attorney General shall monitor the results of the minority recruitment and selection programs established by the Division of State Police and other State law enforcement agencies as required in subsection a. of this section.

     e.     The Attorney General shall annually report to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C:52:14-19.1), to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly a summary of the results obtained pursuant to subsection d. of this section and the results reported by the county prosecutors pursuant to subsection c. of this section.  The Attorney General also shall post this summary on the official Internet website of the Department of Law and Public Safety.

 

     3.    a.  Each State law enforcement agency, including the Division of State Police, shall annually report to the Attorney General and each municipal and county law enforcement agency in this State shall annually report to the county prosecutor with jurisdiction over the agency a report containing:

     (1)   the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of the law enforcement officers currently appointed to the law enforcement agency;

     (2)   the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of applicants for a law enforcement officer position in the preceding calendar year;

     (3)   the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of applicants appointed to the agency in the preceding calendar year;

     (4)   the reasons for denying applicants an appointment to the law enforcement agency; and

     (5)   the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of each law enforcement officer promoted within the agency in the preceding calendar year, including the position to which the officer was promoted.

     b.    Each municipal law enforcement agency shall publish in the agency’s annual report the information required by subsection a. of this section.

     c.     Each county prosecutor shall publish in the county prosecutor’s annual report the information required by subsection a. of this section for each county law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction of the county prosecutor.

     d.    Each State law enforcement agency shall publish in the agency’s annual report the information required by subsection a. of this section.

     e.     The county prosecutor shall forward the information required in subsection a. of this section to the Attorney General.  The Attorney General shall collect, gather, assemble, and collate the information required in subsection a. of this section into an annual report to be issued to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C:52:14-19.1), to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly.

     f.     The Attorney General shall post on the official Internet web site of the Department of Law and Public Safety each annual report required by subsection d. of this section.

     4.    The Attorney General shall develop for dissemination to law enforcement agencies and county prosecutors throughout this State those guidelines or directives deemed necessary or appropriate to ensure the uniform application of this act.

 

     5.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month next following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires each State, county, and municipal law enforcement agency in New Jersey to establish a minority recruitment and selection program in accordance with guidelines issued by the Attorney General.  The purpose of these programs is to ensure that law enforcement agencies in this State reflect the diversity of the population of the community the agency protects.

     Under the bill, each minority recruitment and selection program is required to set specific goals for recruiting and hiring minorities and females, establishing time frames for meeting these goals, and describing methods of evaluating whether these goals are met.  Each program also is required to set forth corrective action to be taken if the agency fails to meet the goals of the program.  The bill requires each law enforcement agency to post the recruitment and selection program on the agency’s official Internet website.

     The county prosecutors are responsible for monitoring the results of the recruitment and selection programs established by county and municipal law enforcement agencies.  The Attorney General is responsible for monitoring the results of the programs established by the State Police and other State law enforcement agencies.  The bill requires the Attorney General to annually report to the Governor and the Legislature a summary of the results of the State, county, and municipal programs and to post this information on the Department of Law and Public Safety’s website.

     The bill also establishes reporting requirements concerning the overall diversity of the law enforcement agencies throughout the State.  The bill requires each State, county, and municipal law enforcement agency in this State to annually report on (1) the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of the law enforcement officers currently appointed to the law enforcement agency; (2) the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of applicants for a law enforcement officer position in the preceding calendar year; (3) the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of applicants appointed to the agency in the preceding calendar year; (4) the reasons for denying applicants an appointment to the law enforcement agency; and (5) the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of each law enforcement officer promoted within the agency in the preceding calendar year, including the position to which the officer was promoted.

     The county prosecutor is required by the bill to forward this information to the Attorney General.  The Attorney General is required to collect, gather, assemble, and collate the information forwarded by the county prosecutors and the information concerning State law enforcement agencies, including the Division of State Police, into an annual report to be reported to the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the General Assembly.  The bill also requires this information to be posted on the official Internet website of the Department of Law and Public Safety.  Each State, county, and municipal law enforcement agency also is required to publish this information in its annual report.

     To enhance the public’s trust in the police officers who protect the residents of this State, law enforcement workforces need to more closely mirror the population of the community. Therefore, law enforcement agencies need to increase the number of minority and female law enforcement officers they recruit and hire.  It is the sponsor’s intent to increase minority and female representation in law enforcement agencies in this State by requiring each agency to establish a minority recruitment and selection program and to make available to the public the results of these programs.