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    Attorney General's Message
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Our goal is for every traffic stop to end safely for all involved.
To achieve this goal, we have taken various steps, all of which have been directed at law enforcement: All police officers in New Jersey must complete annual training on de-escalation techniques, cultural awareness and implicit bias through our CLEAR Institute; thousands of police officers now wear body-worn cameras; we have improved protocols for investigation of police-involved use of deadly force; and we have promoted innovative community policing through hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and awards. Our new “Safe Stop” initiative takes the next step by providing information for the general public about what to do, and what not to do, during a traffic stop, to ensure that all stops are safe and fair. Please help us make every stop a Safe Stop. Take the Safe Stop Pledge and we'll send you a Safe Stop decal to display on your vehicle.
 
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spacer How to File a Complaint

1. How do I file a complaint against an officer?

There are several ways a person may file a complaint against an officer. For stops made by New Jersey State Troopers, the driver and/or passenger(s) may request a complaint form at the scene which can be filled out and brought in person, sent in writing via mail or email, or made via telephone to the New Jersey Office of Professional Standards. The Compliment/Complaint procedure for New Jersey State Police can be found at www.njsp.org/information/complaint.shtml.

For stops made by local police departments, a person may make a complaint by taking the following steps:

  • You may visit the police station of the officer’s assigned municipality in person to file what is called an internal affairs complaint. Each police department is required to have a person available to help with the process of filing a complaint, regardless of the hour or day of the week. You will not be turned away or told to come back.
  • You may file a complaint with the applicable municipality over the phone or in writing (by letter or e-mail).
  • A complaint may also be filed anonymously. You do not need to provide your name or contact information to file a complaint.
  • Someone else may file the complaint on your behalf.
  • A person who is in jail or prison may also file an internal affairs complaint. They can either file one over the phone or in writing, or ask someone else to file it on their behalf.
   
2. How long does it take to investigate an internal affairs complaint?

The length of the investigation will depend on the seriousness, nature, and complexity of the alleged misconduct. There is no specific number of days by which an internal affairs investigation must or will be completed. Every complaint must be thoroughly and objectively investigated to a logical conclusion. If you request an update as to the status of your complaint, the police department must provide you with that information (whether the complaint remains pending, is being investigated, has been adjudicated, etc.)

   
3. What can I do if I do not agree with an internal affairs decision or I never receive a decision?

If you disagree with the result of an internal affairs investigation by New Jersey State Police, or do not receive a decision, you can call the New Jersey Office of Professional Standards at its toll free recorded hot line 877-253-4125 to speak to a representative Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. You may also contact The Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards (OLEPS) at 609-341-3228 if you disagree with the outcome of a State Police internal affairs investigation.

For internal affairs investigations handled by local police departments, you should take the following steps:

  • Contact the local internal affairs officer working on the case or his or her supervisor if the officer is not responsive;

  • If you do not get a response from the local internal affairs department, you may contact the County Prosecutor’s Office. Contact information for each County Prosecutor’s Office can be found here www.nj.gov/oag/dcj/county-prosecutor.html;

  • If the issue has not been resolved by the local agency or County Prosecutor, you may contact the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) at 833-4-SAFENJ (833-472-3365) or online at www.safestopnj.com/complaint. A representative of the Attorney General’s Office will take the following steps when receiving your call:

    1. The OAG representative will ask whether you have contacted the local internal affairs department or the County Prosecutor about your concerns.

      • If the answer is no, you will be directed to complete steps b and c above before OAG will process your inquiry.

      • If the answer is yes, you will move to the next step in the process

    2. You will be asked to send your concerns and supporting documentation, if applicable, to OAG in writing via email or United States Postal Service.

    3. Each written inquiry is then logged into OAG’s tracking system and directed to the appropriate Division for action and follow up.

    4. The assigned Division is responsible for sending you an acknowledgement of receipt of your inquiry, as well as providing you with a response to your concern once its review has been completed.

   
   
   
 
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