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State’s watchdog agency launches Police Accountability Project

OSC dedicating investigative resources to detect waste, fraud, abuse and misconduct in law enforcement agencies

  • Posted on - 03/3/2022


TRENTON – The New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) is launching the Police Accountability Project aimed at reviewing state and local law enforcement agencies and advancing transparency in policing.

Jane Schuster, who brings nearly a decade of experience at the Attorney General’s Office as a subject-matter expert on policing issues, will lead the Project.

“We are going to review whether promised reforms in policing have been implemented and are working,” said Acting State Comptroller Kevin D. Walsh. “As a watchdog, OSC has a critical role to play in evaluating whether the government does what it promises to do. Under Jane’s leadership, OSC’s new Project will leverage our broad authority to uncover systemic abuses and inefficiencies in law enforcement.”

OSC’s Police Accountability Project will examine issues that open the State up to civil liability – and thus significant amounts of taxpayer funds – when police encounters result in civil rights violations.

For example, the Project will:

  • Evaluate the systems in place for detecting and addressing inappropriate officer conduct;
  • Assess whether police training programs comply with recent reforms;
  • Examine whether reforms designed to eliminate bias in policing are doing their job; and
  • Review how agencies are complying with their mandatory reporting obligations about officer misconduct.

OSC will evaluate whether the stated goals of legislation and official directives are being realized – and if not, make recommendations on how to get there.

“It’s important for New Jerseyans to understand how taxpayer dollars are being spent when it comes to public safety, such as officer training and equipment – along with other big-ticket items like employee benefits,” said Walsh.

OSC’s expanded focus on police accountability builds on its annual reviews of whether the New Jersey State Police is complying with laws prohibiting racial profiling. Those reviews focus on misconduct by troopers, motor vehicle stops, and training. OSC’s most recent report was issued on June 29, 2021.

OSC is encouraging members of the public or law enforcement officers to reach out with tips if they suspect waste, fraud, or abuse within law enforcement agencies. File a complaint online, by email, or by calling OSC’s confidential hotline at 1-855-OSC-TIPS.

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) is an independent State agency that works to make government in New Jersey more efficient, transparent and accountable. OSC is tasked with examining all aspects of government expenditures, conducts audits and investigations of government agencies throughout New Jersey, reviews government contracts, and works to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse in Medicaid.

Stay up-to-date with the latest from OSC by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Instagram at @NewJerseyComptroller.

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Government Waste and Mismanagement Hotline: 1-855-OSC-TIPS (672-8477)