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City of Newark Police Division
Tuesday November 19th, 2019 :: 01:37 p.m. EST


In court filing, Newark Police show dramatic decrease in excessive force complaints and settlement payouts

NEWARK – Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose announced the Newark Police Division as filed its Seventh Quarterly report in U.S. District Court, in further compliance with the federal consent decree.

“One of the highlights of our report is a study conducted by Suffolk University, as ordered by the monitor, that showed the community’s overall perception of the Newark Police has improved dramatically when compared to the 2017 study,” Ambrose said. “We are functioning better than in 2008 which is a good indicator of the results.”

Other highlights include:
• Dramatic decreases in excessive force complaints and in city payouts to settle excessive force lawsuits.
• Since 2014, under the Mayor Ras Baraka administration, the city has only paid only $51,000 to settle excessive force complaints. From 2010 to 2014, such lawsuits cost the city nearly $1.4 million. The number of lawsuits dropped from 48 from 2010-14, to 18 from 2014-19.
• Since 2010, there has nearly an 80 percent drop in excessive force complaints. There were 88 in 2010 and 16 this year.
• One hundred percent participation in department wide “Stops, Searches and Arrests” training and “Community Policing Training.”
• Expanded use of body-worn cameras, which exceeds Consent Decree recommendations by mandating all officers in patrol and their supervisors are equipped with cameras.
• Expanded use of bar-coded evidence analysis and tracking to improve documentation and tracking of property and evidence and centralizing the information.
• Enhanced training of police response in domestic violence incidents in getting help and counseling for victims, through the collaborative effort of the police Special Victims Unit and Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center.
• Continued emphasis on Community Policing, with special attention to reaching children to build foundational trust in the community.

Ambrose said the “remarkable decrease in excessive force cases and settlements shows the police division has utilized a much more community-based approach to customer service.”
The Suffolk University study shows Newark residents have increased feelings of general safety, and less worry about being a crime victim or victims of excessive police force. The say they are less likely to be discriminated against by the police, fewer residents have been stopped and fewer have filed complaints.

“This study was independent and ordered by the (Consent Decree) Monitoring Team, so it shows our customer satisfaction ratings are going up,” Ambrose said. “That is most important, because it emphasizes we serve the public, in the truest sense of the word.”

City of Newark Police Division
480 Clinton Ave
Newark, NJ 07108

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