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Report on Law Enforcement Professional Standards, NJSP, 2010

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A. Matthew Boxer, Comptroller

Division of New Jersey State Police
and the
Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards


November 9, 2010

Table of Contents
Introduction........................................................................................... 1
Background ........................................................................................... 2
Scope of Review .................................................................................... 4
Review of the Transition of the Office of Law Enforcement
Professional Standards from the Consent Decree Period .......................... 6
Review of the New Jersey State Police Training Bureau ............................ 9
Conclusions and Recommendations ...................................................... 14

The disparate treatment of citizens during routine motorist stops or other law
enforcement activity based on race has been an issue of national concern over
the last two decades. The perception of unequal treatment creates distrust and
tension between law enforcement offices and the community, undermining the
goals of the criminal justice system and affecting the safety and security of all
residents. In New Jersey, events that occurred in the 1990s led the State to
enter into a Consent Decree with the United States Department of Justice and
led to a transformation of State Police policies and procedures, aimed at
eliminating discrimination and bias from law enforcement practices on our
This report is the first in a series of statutorily required reviews of the State
Police and the Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards by the Office of
the State Comptroller. The purpose of these reviews is to determine if the New
Jersey State Police is continuing its commitment to non-discrimination,
professionalism and accountability while fulfilling its mission to serve and protect
New Jersey’s residents. For this initial review, the Office of the State Comptroller
conducted an assessment of the practices and procedures of the State Police’s
Training Bureau and evaluated the State’s transition from the dissolution of the
Consent Decree during a seven-month period, from October 2009 to April 2010.


Under the Law Enforcement Professional Standards Act of 2009, N.J.S.A 52:17B221 et seq. (the Act), the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) is directed to: (1)
review the performance of the New Jersey State Police (NJSP or State Police)
concerning non-discrimination in its policies, practices and procedures; and (2)
review the Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards’ monitoring of the
NJSP’s law enforcement activities. This statute was enacted to ensure NJSP’s
continued compliance with the reforms that were initiated under the Consent
Decree entered into on December 30, 1999. That Consent Decree ended a
lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice against the State of
New Jersey. The lawsuit alleged racial profiling in the practices and policies of
the NJSP. The Consent Decree mandated a number of reforms designed to
achieve non-discrimination in the operating procedures and performance of
members of the NJSP during and after motor vehicle stops.
To promote compliance with the terms of the Consent Decree, the U.S. District
Court appointed an independent monitoring team. The responsibilities of the
monitoring team included the collection and evaluation of data on vehicle stops,
post-stop enforcement activities, misconduct investigations, internal discipline
and training, among other compliance measures.
The independent monitoring team filed 16 reports from October 2000 through
August 2007, which measured compliance by the NJSP against criteria mandated
in the Consent Decree. In their 16th report, the independent monitors declared
the NJSP had achieved compliance with the Consent Decree. The report noted
that the State Police had become “self-monitoring” in its capacity to identify,
analyze and remediate problematic law enforcement procedures. A 17th report,
issued in April 2009, was prepared by the Attorney General’s Office of State
Police Affairs under the guidance and final approval of the independent monitors.
This report concluded that the NJSP had continued to achieve compliance with all
requirements established by the Consent Decree.

In 2006, then-Governor Jon S. Corzine appointed an Advisory Committee on
Police Standards which made recommendations concerning the continued
monitoring of the NJSP. The State Legislature thereafter passed the Act, which
codified many of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee. Specifically,
the Act mandates the creation of the Office of Law Enforcement Professional
Standards (OLEPS) within the Department of Law and Public Safety to perform,
among other things, those functions previously performed by the Office of State
Police Affairs. In August 2009, the parties to the Consent Decree filed a joint
application to dissolve the decree. On September 21, 2009, the United States
District Court granted the application and entered an Order dissolving the
Consent Decree.
The Act further directs OLEPS to assume the duties and functions previously
performed by the independent monitoring team, including preparing and issuing
biannual reports on NJSP conduct and semi-annual reports of aggregate statistics
on NJSP traffic enforcement activities and procedures. In May 2010, OLEPS
issued its first report evaluating the NJSP’s continued compliance with the
Consent Decree during the period from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2008.
OLEPS’ first aggregate data report was released in June 2010, covering the
period May 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009.
The Act also requires OSC to perform risk-based audits and performance reviews
of the NJSP and of OLEPS’ oversight of the NJSP. Reports of OSC’s findings and
recommendations are required to be made to the Legislature, the Governor and
the public. This is the first such report.


Scope of Review
The Act directs OSC to conduct “risk-based audits and performance reviews” of
the State Police and OLEPS, which may include examination of the following
areas: “stops, post-stop enforcement activities, internal affairs and discipline,
decisions not to refer a trooper to internal affairs notwithstanding the existence
of a complaint, and training.” N.J.S.A 52:17B-236. For this initial performance
review, OSC focused on two areas: 1) the State’s transition following the Consent
Decree, specifically how OLEPS and the State Police are responding to their new
roles; and 2) matters related to the NJSP Training Bureau.
OSC determined to include the Training Bureau in this initial review due to the
critical role the Training Bureau plays in the NJSP’s efforts to continue
compliance with the mandates of the Consent Decree. The Training Bureau’s
recruit and annual in-service training programs directly influence and shape the
daily actions and discretionary choices of the members of the State Police.
Specifically, OSC evaluated the Training Bureau’s capacity for maintaining and
enhancing instruction for NJSP troopers and supervisory staff during the postConsent Decree period.
OSC conducted its assessments of the Training Bureau and OLEPS’ transition
from the Office of State Police Affairs during the months from October 2009 to
April 2010. To study the Training Bureau’s continued commitment to Consent
Decree reforms and OLEPS’ capacity to audit the NJSP, the OSC review team
utilized a number of methodologies, including but not limited to the following:

Development of a risk-analysis matrix through examination of the
independent monitors’ reports. The Consent Decree prescribed 99 tasks
to be performed by the NJSP, 14 of which were directly related to its
training program. OSC staff identified potential risks utilizing the history
of compliance with these tasks.


Observation and evaluation of the annual in-service training program at
the NJSP Training Academy in Sea Girt.


Interviews of leadership and staff of OLEPS, the Training Bureau and the
Office of Professional Standards (OPS). OPS, which reports directly to the
Superintendant of the NJSP, replaced the NJSP’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
OPS conducts investigations and administers disciplinary action
concerning members of the NJSP.


Observation of the NJSP Risk Analysis Core Group meeting, which is a
quarterly meeting in which high-level commanders of the NJSP examine
data collected through their internal performance measurement system to
ensure that standards of integrity and professionalism are being met.


Review of the Management Awareness and Personnel Performance
System (MAPPS). MAPPS is the computerized performance measurement
system that collects data on individual troopers’ performance, including
traffic stops, professional accomplishments, misconduct investigations
and other matters. MAPPS enables NJSP supervisors to identify
proficiency and achievement, as well as substandard or unprofessional
behavior, and, in theory, to prevent inappropriate practices from


Review of the Training Bureau’s annual strategic plans and a sample of
curriculum development documents and final lesson plans from 2006
through 2009. We also reviewed OLEPS’ related evaluative and
aggregate data reports, which were issued as the field work for our
review was nearing completion.

In accordance with OSC standard practice, a draft of this report was provided to
OLEPS and the NJSP for review and comment. Following our review of those
comments, OSC has made changes in this final report where appropriate.


Review of the Transition of the Office of Law
Enforcement Professional Standards from the Consent
Decree Period
The Act directs OLEPS to assume the role that previously had been performed by
the independent monitors. For our review, we looked to the following statutory
functions of OLEPS as criteria in determining OLEPS’ performance as it has
transitioned to its new role:

OLEPS is authorized to conduct audits and analyses of data to identify
any potential problems with NJSP activities and to make
recommendations to remedy any identified problems.


OLEPS is authorized to approve training curricula and review training
procedures and materials in areas such as ethics, use of force, and search
and seizure.


OLEPS is required to produce public reports that evaluate the NJSP,
comparable to the independent monitoring team’s reports. As noted
previously, OLEPS’ initial report was issued in May 2010, and additional
reports are to be issued every 6 months.


OLEPS is authorized to assist and provide guidance to local and other law
enforcement agencies statewide, and carry out other duties and functions
as may be assigned by the Attorney General.

Our review found that OLEPS staff continues to effectively perform the duties
that they conducted as the Office of State Police Affairs under the Consent
Decree. In addition, OLEPS’ May 2010 report shows its capacity to recreate the
thorough and rigorous analysis that had been performed by the independent
monitors. However, a clear and complete transition to OLEPS’ new oversight role
has been slow to fully materialize. The following issues are of concern:
Transition to greater independence: The Act makes clear that OLEPS is to
assume the role of independent monitor, which necessitates a high level of

autonomy in conducting audits and overseeing investigative and administrative
activities of the NJSP. OLEPS personnel continue to assist the NJSP in certain
non-monitoring matters such as some internal affairs investigations. This could
place OLEPS personnel in the difficult dual role of both impartial monitor and
investigative partner of the NJSP at various times. Additionally, the on-site
assignment of three NJSP troopers to OLEPS to assist in the collection and review
of necessary documents and videotapes could impact the perception of OLEPS’
objectiveness. Policies regarding firewalls or reassignment of duties should be
evaluated in light of OLEPS’ new independent role.
Lack of consistent leadership at OLEPS: The Consent Decree was dissolved
in September 2009, shortly before the State’s November gubernatorial election.
During this period, there was understandable reluctance by OLEPS personnel to
commit to a long-term plan of action to comply with their new monitoring role.
The election of a new Governor, the subsequent lame duck period, and the
ensuing appointment of a new Attorney General and senior staff resulted in
further delays regarding the implementation of necessary policies and
procedures to support OLEPS’ changed mission. This situation was compounded
by the temporary status of the former Acting Director of OLEPS, who held the
position for approximately three years. After his departure in late 2009, another
interim director was named and the position was advertised. The recent naming
of a permanent director should facilitate OLEPS’ assumption of its new role in a
fully effective manner. OLEPS’ issuance of the two reports previously referenced
also signifies forward movement in this regard.
Staffing and Resources: As of June 2010, OLEPS consisted of an Acting
Director, four investigators, three Deputy Attorneys General, one analyst and two
support staff members (three additional positions were vacant). In addition, as
previously mentioned, three individuals from the State Police are assigned to
OLEPS. OLEPS should determine if additional staffing will be required to handle
the increased workload that is expected in its new role. While the current
budget situation could make it difficult to hire additional personnel, OLEPS’ ability
to fully perform all of the functions set forth in the Act at current staffing levels

may be difficult, particularly in view of a recent court decision that appears to be
intensifying the workload for both NJSP and OLEPS personnel. Specifically, the
New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Pena-Flores, 198 N.J. 6 (2009),
requires a police officer to obtain a warrant to search a vehicle unless the officer
has probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains evidence of a crime and
there are exigent circumstances that justify dispensing with the warrant
requirement. According to NJSP and OLEPS, this decision has caused an
increase in “consent” searches, as highlighted in OLEPS’ recent data report.
Under the Consent Decree’s application, consent searches were deemed “critical
incidents.” Consequently, the NJSP adopted standard operating procedures
requiring consent searches to be fully reviewed by supervisors. As a result of
Pena-Flores, the number of these reviews by NJSP and OLEPS staff has
increased substantially. For example, such consent searches (in which troopers
are granted permission by civilians to conduct a search) rose to 231 for the twomonth period from May 1 to June 30, 2009, compared to 164 in the previous six


Review of the New Jersey State Police Training Bureau
Located at the State Police Academy in Sea Girt, the NJSP Training Bureau
conducts pre-service training for state trooper candidates and provides annual inservice training to all NJSP personnel. The Training Bureau is responsible for
developing curricula and providing instruction in numerous areas of law
enforcement, including firearms, self-defense, leadership, homeland security and
public safety. Specialized training is also provided for federal, state, county and
municipal police agencies. As of Spring 2010, 58 sworn and 7 civilian personnel
were assigned to the Training Bureau.
Our review found that the Training Bureau continues to apply the directives of
the Consent Decree in its efforts to design and deliver training to State Police
members. OSC observed high-quality instruction and training practices that were
initiated as a result of the Consent Decree and have become standard at NJSP,
including long-term planning, cross-division partnerships, self-assessment and
maintaining appropriate documentation. Each of these is discussed in turn in the
paragraphs that follow.
A comprehensive planning process ensures that curricula and lesson plans
comply with the Consent Decree and offer troopers and supervisors expert
training. The Training Bureau staff continues to use a seven-step process
initiated under the Consent Decree to create timely, relevant and valuable
curricula. This process includes: 1) a needs assessment to document any
training deficiencies; 2) curriculum development by the agency; 3) delivery of the
program; 4) evaluation of the program; 5) revision of the curriculum; 6)
measurement of the effectiveness of the program; and 7) documentation of
training by the agency.
Collaboration occurs among NJSP bureaus and units to identify and communicate
training issues in the development of a needs assessment. The NJSP has
instituted a Training Committee, comprised of representatives from a number of
divisions throughout the agency, to meet quarterly and provide input to

members of the Training Bureau concerning training needs and assessments of
instruction provided.
Since entering into the Consent Decree, the NJSP has made noteworthy progress
in the area of self-evaluation, including measuring and documenting individuals’
performance. In response to a Consent Decree directive, the NJSP instituted the
MAPPS system referenced earlier, which is designed to maintain and retrieve
information necessary for the supervision and management of the State Police.
Data on motor vehicle stops, searches and other enforcement actions are
recorded in MAPPS. The Training Bureau and NJSP supervisory staff use data
results from MAPPS to compare performance of troopers and determine training
needs. The Training Bureau also uses a software program called Metrics That
Matter (MTM) to collect feedback and test scores from instruction recipients, and
uses the collected data to evaluate whether the courses delivered are meeting
predetermined goals and objectives. Use of MTM has become a standard
practice in the training process. The ability to test troopers’ comprehension at
the end of each one-day class allows instructors to adjust or revise the course
immediately, which is vital to the success of the multi-week in-service training.
Thorough documentation concerning the development of curricula, feedback and
test scores is maintained at the Training Bureau, which has become the central
repository for all training materials used throughout the NJSP, including lesson
plans and assessments of third-party training. The Academy Computerized
Training System (ACTS) is the database in which test scores, certifications and
other data are collected. The ACTS database interacts with the MAPPS database,
allowing supervisors to review individuals’ training records and performance in
the field.
Our evaluation of the NJSP’s 2009 annual in-service training revealed that
instructors exhibited appropriate mastery of the subject matter and used strong
teaching techniques, such as role-playing, use of mixed media and pre-tests and
post-tests. The Training Bureau used those electronic pre-tests and post-tests to
immediately evaluate comprehension and solicit feedback from participants.

Moreover, instructors created a credible, appropriately stressful environment for
role playing exercises such as the active shooter exercise, concurrently delivering
leadership and ethics training throughout the course of the role playing.
In sum, OSC’s review determined that the NJSP has established a transparent
and needs-based process to produce curricula and training exercises in
compliance with the terms of the Consent Decree. NJSP’s delivery of training
exhibited appropriate knowledge of the subject matter and strong training
techniques. The following issues should continue to be monitored to prevent
backsliding and maintain the level of performance the Training Bureau has
Staffing and Resources: With no new recruit class scheduled to begin this
fiscal year and training therefore focused on current troopers, the Training
Academy at Sea Girt currently is adequately staffed. However, we concur with
the prior recommendation of the independent monitors regarding the need for a
civilian analyst within the Training Bureau to enhance data collection efforts.
(This position perhaps could be shared with the MAPPS unit). While current staff
are knowledgeable about the collection of and need for data relevant to training
outcomes, the Training Bureau would benefit from an analyst well-versed in
statistics and quantitative analysis who could use the data collected to enhance
the development of curricula. In addition, the frequent rotation of personnel in
the Bureau Chief position at the Training Bureau should be reconsidered. In
recent years, the Bureau Chief (also known as the Commandant) generally has
served in that capacity for approximately one year and then been promoted to
other NJSP positions. However, the Bureau Chief may need more than 12
months to conceptualize and implement process improvement plans and
substantially more time to measure outcomes. Finally, maintenance and repair
of facilities and training equipment should be attended to before major issues
arise. Facilities and equipment are aging and, in some cases, deteriorating.
Lack of faith in the hiring process: During our interviews, several Academy
instructors expressed their belief that the current trooper hiring process is

somewhat arbitrary and may fail to identify the best candidates. It is important
that the NJSP organization, including the Training staff, believe in the integrity
and validity of the recruitment and hiring system. The process that currently is
in place is the result of a separate consent decree entered into approximately a
decade ago that resolved allegations of discrimination in the NJSP recruitment
process. In light of the opinions about the current process that were expressed
by Academy instructors, the NJSP should explore opportunities to discuss with
Academy instructors and, as appropriate, other troopers, the current recruitment
process as well as the reasons for which it was adopted. Ultimately, the NJSP
must continue its efforts to attract the best candidates and ensure a strong and
diverse work force. As the selection of recruits does not fall directly under the
Training Bureau’s administration, this issue will be examined in future OSC
performance reviews.
New responsibilities in working with OLEPS: With the end of the Consent
Decree and the recent establishment of OLEPS, the Training Bureau’s
relationship with OLEPS still is evolving. Training Bureau staff expressed concern
to us as to what criteria or standards OLEPS would apply in its future reviews
now that the Consent Decree has ended. Currently, OLEPS continues to review
and approve all training curricula related to Consent Decree issues. Going
forward, the Training Bureau and OLEPS should consider implementing a selfapproval review process for the Training Bureau, including appropriate legal
review, which would allow for greater efficiency in the review of training and
lesson plans. Any changes that are made to the curriculum review process
should be reflected in a revised Standard Operating Procedure C25, which
documents all State Police policies and procedures that pertain to training.
Additionally, OLEPS should identify what performance measures or standards will
be used in their future audits. Similarly, the Training Bureau staff should seek to
identify activities that would enhance the bureau’s operations and effectiveness
and, with the endorsement of OLEPS, seek to reduce paperwork and/or
bureaucracy that do not add value.


CALEA accreditation for the Training Bureau may be unnecessary
and/or redundant: In its 2010 Strategic Plan, the Training Bureau cited
obtaining accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law
Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) as an objective, under the goal of “increas[ing]
the professional reputation of the Training Bureau and services offered to the
Division and law enforcement community.” CALEA is an independent body of
public safety practitioners that has created a nationally recognized set of
standards for law enforcement entities. Accreditation with CALEA recognizes
that an entity has achieved professional excellence in the law enforcement field.
Achieving such accreditation is a time consuming and burdensome process. The
NJSP as an entire organization obtained its accreditation with CALEA in 2007 and
renewed its CALEA accreditation in 2010. To pursue a CALEA accreditation solely
for the Training Bureau would be redundant and costly in terms of time and
personnel. Another 2010 objective for the Training Bureau, accreditation with
the American Council on Education (ACE), appears to offer greater potential
return on investment. ACE is a national organization that reviews adult learning
programs given outside the traditional university classroom, including courses
taught through businesses, government and the military. If an adult learning
program such as the one administered by the Training Bureau is accredited by
ACE, academic credit can be given for certain courses, which would be
advantageous to members of the State Police.


Conclusions and Recommendations
Since the end of the Consent Decree, the State Police has achieved compliance
with anti-discrimination policies and practices within its Training Bureau. The
transition from the Consent Decree and independent monitor oversight has not
yet been fully engaged, although staff members at both OLEPS and the Training
Bureau continue to perform the tasks and carry out the reforms that were set in
place by the independent monitors. The State Police and OLEPS are required to
continue these efforts to ensure that the high levels of accountability and
professionalism achieved during the Consent Decree continue to be met.
This report recommends the following to ensure continued compliance:


OLEPS should be provided with the leadership, resources and guidance
necessary to transition itself successfully to its post-Consent Decree role.


OLEPS should take steps to transition itself to an independent auditor


OLEPS should establish any new performance measures and criteria
concerning training that may replace the tasks mandated in the Consent
Decree and communicate those criteria to Training Bureau staff.


The Training Bureau and OLEPS should consider implementing a selfapproval process for training curricula.


NJSP should consider reassigning or hiring a civilian analyst to perform
quantitative analysis on data collected at the Training Bureau.