On July 14, 2020, the Reporters Committee urged the New Jersey Senate’s Law and Public Safety Committee to pass S. 2656, which would classify law enforcement disciplinary records as government records subject to public access, as well as mandate retention of these records.
The bill would specifically make such records accessible to the press and public under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act, while providing for redaction of certain sensitive information. Among other information and records, the bill would make public complaints against police officers, transcripts of disciplinary hearings and bodycam videos. The bill would also require the retention of disciplinary records for 20 years from the date of creation.
“Passage of S. 2656 is a necessary step not only to ensuring police accountability,” the Reporters Committee said in written testimony to the Committee, “but also to restoring trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
The Reporters Committee submitted its testimony in advance of the Committee’s hearing scheduled for July 15, 2020, at 10 a.m.