Newark's Independent Police Monitor Talks Technology and Community

Peter Harvey, Independent Monitor for the Newark Police Division, describes his role as Independent Monitor, explains the importance of the implementation of technology within the police department, and shares ways relations with the community can continue to improve.

7/15/17 #113






"State of Affairs is pleased to welcome the former Attorney General of the great state of New Jersey, Peter Harvey who’s independent monitor appointed by the Department of Justice to the Newark Police Division. Good to see you my friend. Good to see you. Long time. It has been. We look younger. How is that? Well, you look younger. Let's leave that alone. It's the mileage. A lot of work? Yeah, very much so. [laughter] I'm only kidding! Hey, listen Peter, let's get to serious business. Sure. The independent monitor  appointed by the...? U.S. District Courts United States, okay. U.S. District Court. Essentially what you have is the Department of Justice investigates patterns and practices of what they view to be unconstitutional behavior.  They do it with police departments. They come in and say "Look, we're going to litigate unless you agree to these reforms". Right. Most cities say "Okay, we'll agree to these reforms." They go, "Okay, let's embody that in a settlement agreement" called a consent decree. Right. So you've got the Department of Justice on one side, the city and the police department on the other. The two work out a consent decree. They file it in federal court.  Now, the DOJ says, "we don't trust you to tell us that you're in compliance". The city says, "well wait a minute, I don't trust you to verify my compliance. Well, let's pick a third party." And you're the independent? I'm the independent. So it's so interesting. By the way, for those of you who have never seen it, go on our website. Jacqui, put up that is our website. Go check out a series we did with our great partner here at NJTV, Michael Hill, who was the co-anchor with me. It's called "Building Trust Between Police and the Minority Community". The head of the Newark Police Department, Anthony Ambrose, was with us on that.  He talked about you. He talked about the relationship. What do you say to those who say, "what did Newark do to deserve having the federal government come in?" There were some problems? Well, I would refer people to go watch a PBS series called "Policing the Police" which focuses on the Newark PD. Essentially, Newark police had an internal affairs problem. They wouldn't thoroughly investigate complaints made by citizens against police officers. We're blacks and lat...? Excuse me for interrupting Peter, were blacks and latinos being disproportionately stopped? No, it's not so much a motor vehicle problem as you'd had on the turnpike. No. What was it? It was a street problem. Stop, detention, arrest. That's number 1. Number 2, you had an internal affairs problem. Namely, people, the department was..."