New Jersey Revises Use of Force Policy

On December 21, 2020, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced the latest updates to the state’s use of force policy, “a comprehensive package of policies designed to limit the use of force by New Jersey’s 38,000 state, county, and local law enforcement officers. The sweeping changes include the first revision to the Attorney General’s “Use of Force Policy” in two decades.” Not in Our Town Princeton was one of the organizations contributing suggestions during the revision process.

The seven principles law enforcement officers must adhere to are: 1) The Sanctity of Human Life, 2) De-Escalation & Force as a Last Resort, 3) Reasonable, Necessary, and Proportional Force, 4) Deadly Force as a Last Resort, 5) Duty to Intervene, 6) Duty to Render Medical Assistance, 7) Duty to Report and Review Uses of Force.  In addition, “[t]he new policy will be implemented through a massive retraining effort, pursuant to which every officer in the state will receive multiple days of interactive training, including scenario-based training that requires them to address many of the circumstances that most often lead to improper or excessive uses of force. The impact of the new policy will be monitored using a first-in-the-nation, statewide Use of Force Portal, which will include detailed data on every police use of force in the state, and a version of which will be available to the public in 2021.”

To read the full policy and related documents click here.

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