What will a reformed Newark police department look like?

By Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on May 04, 2015

Residents met with representatives of the United States Justice Department Monday night to discuss the federal monitor of the Newark Police Department.


NEWARK — The Department of Justice is in the midst of creating an agreement with the city that will outline reforms a federal monitor will bring to the Newark Police Department. The specifics of what that agreement will look like are still undecided.

U.S. Attorney's Office representatives met with about 100 community members Monday night at the first of five forums it is hosting to garner resident input on changes they would like to see come to the NPD.

Residents suggested a variety of changes ranging from adding a residency requirement for officers to mandating cultural sensitivity training for the entire force.

"I hope the Justice Department takes into consideration the views of the community members," Udi Ofer, the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, said at the event.

"There are a lot of problems to solve."

The meeting comes as the DOJ is considering 21 applicants to take on the role of monitor of the Newark Police Department. The Justice Department released a report last year condemning numerous practices of the police department and calling for it to become the first in the state to have a federal monitor.

"We are right now figuring out exactly what we are going to negotiate with the city... It's really helpful to hear all of this (feedback from the community)," U.S. Attorney's Office Executive Assistant, Sabrina Comizzoli told the crowd at the meeting.

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