Murphy says yes to peaceful protests, no to defunding police
As protests continue over the George Floyd killing by police in Minneapolis, there is increasing discussion in New Jersey and across the nation about working to abolish systemic racism by defunding and reshaping how police departments operate.
Gov. Phil Murphy is strongly supporting the protest rallies but is rejecting the idea of defunding police.
During his daily update in Trenton on Tuesday, Murphy said he believes we’re trying to get to a place where law enforcement and community relations “are defined by words like transparency and accountability and trust, where we make increased community investments, where law enforcement is representative of the communities that they serve.”
Murphy said engineering change means investing in communities.
“I think of it in terms of priorities, the budget screams out what do you care about, and it’s got to be education, healthcare, all the things we do to try and lift communities up.”
New Jersey State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan said efforts continue to expand communication between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
He said that the state's 21 county prosecutors have been holding community town hall meetings and the State Police recently held two 10-week citizen academy courses “where diverse citizens from throughout the entire state and in different walks of life got to see what the State Police was about and become ambassadors for us.”
He said communication about the oversight of the State Police “is something that we could do a lot better at, to give assurances to communities throughout the state, whether that’s in our internal affairs processes, motor vehicle stop data, use of force.”
“We do a lot that we don’t share very well,” he said. “I think that will be a huge step in letting our communities know what is in place. Maybe a constant structured reporting to give them the assurances that they’re seeking as we move forward.”
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