NEWARK NJ CONSENT DECREE
Our Center is part of the Monitoring Team for the Consent Decree on Newark. The Consent Decree was signed by the US Department of Justice, US Attorney’s Office, and the City of Newark on July 22, 2014. It requires the City of Newark and the Newark Police Department (NPD) to improve the quality of policing through training increased community engagement and oversight, and the development of new policies and procedures concerning thefts, stop and searches, arrests, use of force, investigation of misconduct, officer disciplining, and the use of car and body cameras. Members of the COP are serving as subject matter experts in areas like use of force, data management and analysis, and overall planning and oversight. We are currently helping to revise policies and develop training in areas such as use of force, community-oriented policing, bias-free policing, and the use of body-worn cameras as well as helping to analyze data. Learn more: https://www.newarkpdmonitor.com/
Last year, the President of the United States declared the opioid crisis as a public health emergency. The COP aims to be part of the national narrative on combatting the crisis. Recently, our Distinguished Lecture Series hosted New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Superintendent Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes (now retired) and NJSP Program Development Specialist Shelly Lowe where they gave a lecture titled “Opiate Crisis: Professional and Personal Experiences.” Col. Fuentes shared his professional experiences with opioids including the work being done by the Drug Monitoring Initiative (DMI) in New Jersey. Ms. Lowe shared her personal experiences about losing her own son to a fentanyl overdose. The lecture was so powerful that Col. Fuentes, Ms. Lowe, and our Center were invited to The Opioid Technology Summit: Leveraging Technology to Address the Opioid Epidemic in Washington, DC. Our Center continues to be involved with programs such as these that involve furthering the national narrative on the opioid crisis, especially those that combine our interests in information sharing, technology, research, and education.
The COP is also working as a research partner with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office on the Smart Prosecution Grant Initiative from the Office of Justice Programs. Based on past cases, we are helping the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office understand the role social media plays in prosecutions using data analysis.
URBAN AREAS SECURITY INITIATIVE (UASI)
In 2003, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Grant Program, which was created to provide financial assistance to address the unique equipment, training, planning, and exercise needs of large urban areas, and to assist them in building an enhanced and sustainable capacity to prevent, protect, respond, and recover from threats or acts of terrorism. In 2015, the Police Institute entered a contract with the Jersey City/Newark UASI Office of Management and Regional Integration (OMRI), which will be funded by DHS.
Initially, Newark was identified as the “Core/Principal City” with Jersey City later receiving this designation. Additionally, based on DHS guidance and their high-risk high density populations, the area was expanded to include the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, and Union. It is the two core/principal cities and seven core counties that encompass what is known as the Jersey City/Newark UASI.
This UASI region represents only 15% of New Jersey’s total area, but more than 44% of the state’s total population. In addition, the area incorporates many core elements of New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure and is also dense with chemical manufacturing plants and other critical facilities. UASI is a partnership among state, county, and local governments and agencies.
You can learn more about UASI here: https://www.njhomelandsecurity.gov/uasi-grant-program/
THE NEW JERESY INFORMATION SHARING ENVIRONMENT (NJ-ISE)
The New Jersey Information Sharing Environment (NJ-ISE) initiative is designed to provide law enforcement, public safety, and private sector communities with the information they need to better understand their environments—including threats and hazards—and more appropriately allocate the resources at their disposal.
New Jersey’s “fusion center” is the state’s hub for intelligence and includes input and personnel from agencies such as the FBI, US Department of Homeland Security and FEMA; from regional partners such as the NYPD and neighboring State Police; from numerous state agencies; and from New Jersey’s county, municipal and non-governmental partners.
Through the fusion of information from multiple sources, the NJ-ISE unlocks information systems, making them accessible to trained analysts who then will be better able to develop a comprehensive picture on a local, state, regional and, even, national scale. This information then can be shared with field officers, investigators, and chief executives, enhancing the overall public safety efforts related to violence reduction, crime control, counterterrorism, and emergency operations.
Read more about what the Police Institute has been up to by looking at past newsletters.