Five hundred-two police officers serve Mount Olive, an idyllic suburb nestled in Morris County.
Some people are white.
It's a New Jersey all-white police department, serving a township about 70% white.
The Edison Police Department, which is more than double the size of Mount Olive's, employs color officers, but the disparity between the departments ranks and the townships population is striking. The police force is 86% white, and 69% of Edisons population isn't white.
Just like the State Police, which acts as a statewide surveillance agency in New Jersey and patrols fardest corners of the state, is significantly white. White officers make 77% of the police in white communities the number expected to continue to increase.
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Among other companies, such as NJ Advance Media, diversity and inclusion are many voids of diversity, inclusion and other inclusion.
It's a problem not unique to policing, but for the police, it's uniquely problematic.
No other means of reckoning more critical than the law enforcement, where officers should be both protect the peace and protect the public welfare and often even the most common encounters turn deadly.
The police researcher said, It can begin to look like an occupier than to be a local representative, Kami Chavis said.
Research shows negative impacts on both sides of the equation Police departments that don't look like the communities they serve can be more prone to abuse and resistant to reform and the public can be less likely to cooperate with these departments, trust or report crime.
A NJ Advance Media investigation found, a failure in the policing oversight that some experts say may harm the public safety.
In order to make effective statewide records of the police diversity by examining the new law, NJ Advance Media analyzed the race and gender breakdowns in 364 police departments spanning 444 municipalities, a record of almost 80% of the cities in all.
During its yearlong data collection and investigation, NJ Advance Media sent over 1,000 public records requests to local and state law enforcement agencies and spoke with many police officers, government officials, a police reform advocate and law enforcement research group.
Many departments could not provide data, the same as many other departments, which remained not on track diversity.
The news organization blended towns and departments' information into a single database.
The investigation found that that: : "The probe proved to be a result of the investigation"
More than a fair issue, experts say. Being less diverse than their communities makes departments unproductive.
With that regard, people who look like them have better relationships with the community, explains Harrison Dillard. With this is the former Captain of the Morris County Prosecutors' Office who consults with law enforcement agencies on diversity.
The lack of diversity in police departments across New Jersey is a fundamental failure of the police accountability.
They stress that more diverse forces bring small changes such as better cultural understanding, not interpreting certain behaviors as threatening when they are not intended to be. or big changes as complex as departmentwide reductions in over-policing.
I think it puts credibility in the law enforcement," Dillard said.
According to state officials who have long believed New Jersey police are not representative of the communities they serve, they still still didn't know the scope of the problem.
They pledged to reform, in contraressing the data.
According to acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck, The results confirm what we long thought we had done: We had lots of more work to do before New Jerseys law enforcement agencies fully reflect the diversity of our state .
We need to do better, in case of this issue of decades in the making, and can solve it later.
Almost all the police officers interviewed for this investigation said they recognize the importance of diverse police forces and are actively seeking to diversify their departments. They added that the recruitment and hiring challenges, and the waiting for the old guard of officers to retire, has slowed the change.
FBI investigation investigation
A group of Ewing Township police officers bundled up in hoodies, police-issued jackets and winter hats in 2018, cornered the suspect in the backyard shed off Central Avenue.
The dog kicked the other way out of the box. The man, when an owner a K-9 was able to turn on the handler, closed the solitary path from the suspect, allowing the suspect to escape. The police kept the entire way out.
Two police officers ran into the broken window and snatched the suspect out of the shed. They continued to take him along the white privacy fence and slammed him facedown with the equally white snow blanketing the ground.
As police restrained the suspect, a black teenager accused of carrying a car earlier that morning, others decided to bring a few licks in, according to body camera footage.
The boy hit the ground immediately when the officer approached the officer, who then left the truck, to jump on the suspect's head. Two cops then kicked snow on the boy's face and another smashed his boot into his head.
The video shows that officer rotated his foot like a squasher a bug, the officer rotated his foot.
A policeman called the boy a pussy while he was on the ground. The dog sounded in the background.
This clip is filmed by the Trenton newspaper. The FBI is investigating the incident.
The police in Ewing Township have not responded to complaints about this story.
In New Jersey, the white police caught on camera using aggressive force against Americans of color is just one example of what has become an indelible image of the 21st century America today: white police have used aggressive force to get images of men of color.
The police is 80% white but serves a town around 55% white, one of the largest state disparities. Only 6 percent of officers are black in a township where Black people make up nearly a third of the population.
The lack of representation has consequences. A Gallup survey published in July found only 27% of Black Americans are confident in police, compared to 56% of white Americans. Without trust, victims and witnesses may be unwilling to work together to solve crimes.
According to the 2013 justice department report, this trust and the cooperation it gives facilitates the uniformity, more effectively and safely perform the job.
As far as basic trust may be, diversity is the reason that officers are rewarded for their jobs, research shows.
Even when the recruits graduate from Columbia University, the presence of minority officers has a lasting impact on the police in Chicago. Despite its diversity, minor officers have less time to arrest Black people for minor crimes like drug possession, a reduced number of men who attended the academy and waited long for them to graduate. This did not affect their performances, even when one fails to find out what those convicted are doing.
Racial disparities are woven across the United States in police departments.
Despite the civil war, the growing police in the U.S. have sinned up to the sex of the South to protect against slavery, historians say. Several of the major states havent been in extrinted by the war, but despite the violence, the army doesnt make up their own army.
A young man who took the age of Civil Rights was shocked by images of cops siccing dogs and blasting fire hoses at Black people.
Regardless of what is, the police worked as a occupying force in many cities, said Kevin Gaines, an expert on the university of Virginia. And this is the kind of idea they have to protect white people from Black people, and that Black people don't deserve the same protection and due process rights as it in black people.
That a seismic event, like the 1967 Newark revolved, reshaped New Jersey's cities and suburbs for decades to come.
A COMPARE POLICED DIVERSITY IN WHERE TWO TOWNS IN THIS GRAPHIC.
What reform seems like?
That's the reason for these disparities is important to reform, say experts. As far as the scope of the issue is concerned, it's crucial to overcome these racial disparities and to know their gender gender.
The State must answer whether we are making progress in race and ethnic representation (of police), said Andres Rengifo, a police researcher at Rutgers University who also helped NJ Advance Media analysed data for this investigation.
When we think about representation, it's one of the ways we think about authority. This is because its in law for the people who interact with authority figures feeling represented.
Recently introduced several policies aimed to establish trust.
One has gotten involved in a report from the New York State Post that shows how many police force forces are used in that database. For one, the state attorney general began to collect and publish data showing how many police forces use in the area. That database was led by a recent study published by the JCA investigator, which examined the five years in length, where a man was able to reappear to a member of the community, and how often they kick, punch, punde or otherwise drew their hands
The former state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has asked for new reforms, including quick internal affairs investigations, better training and licensure for officers, and a more quickly identifying issue cops.
Grewal said New Jersey would continue to be a national model for policing in the 21st century. When he announced these reforms, he announced today that he announced the reform in 2019, the reforms announced in 2011, whereas New Jersey was a national model for policing in the 21st century.
That state had no answer to the basic questions that were asked about policy and community relations in order to understand the police's accountability and community relations. Since the following protests last summer followed the murder of George Floyd - the largest in the United States' history a new report was released today, a paper by NJ Advance Media found that the state had no answers to all the basic questions for the police and community relations issues: if the protests don't even happen now to involve the murder of him at the last summer's
What does our police officers look like, and how well do they represent us?
You want the public to see who, if you genuinely like the society, are committed to policing. People need to know the truth, but are able to do it with compassion.
That's particularly relevant for the police, because people want to know, because police assume an important part of this communitys safety, that the officers represent an entire community.
Even though the NJ Advance Media requested data about the police in 2013, 123 departments weren't able to do that, most because they said they don't track diversity.
Some experts say lack of data is a deliberate choice.
What matters is a right: it is a blind spot, says Rengifo, the researcher at Rutgers. "Opacity is something that supports a, what regime we have. It thrives on ignorance, I don't think it's an accident."
In February, a law requiring every state's law enforcement agency to develop a minority recruitment program and provide updates to its progress, and data about the diversity of departments, have come into effect.
Even though these reports aren't required until 2022, many departments in New Jersey aren't able or willing to produce them - asked by NJ Advance Media, many said they still don't have any way to track that information.
If that stays true in the next year, they will continue violating the law.
Another issue that is not uncommon in New Jersey because of the lack of police diversity is the actual system to hire and recruit new officers.
The Civil Service Commission is a 113-year-old body developed to prevent nepotism in government hiring. The Commission defines the two departments as a chiefs cities where officers make hiring decisions based on their decision-making. The remaining departments have their hiring regulated by the Civil Service Commission, a stray, administrative organization that aims to create diversity in public businesses.
Even though the media report, civil service has not made significant difference in police recruitment.
Of the 25 least representative police departments, around half of them use civil servant recruiting to hire new recruits.
Law enforcement sources say there are numerous loopholes in the Civil Service system, which towns can and often use to hire preferent candidates rather than follow the laws' intention.
Just this year, the state legislature passed several laws that aim to strengthen policing in black diversity. The Gov. Murphy recently signed the bills.
The governor believes these measures will help dismantle structural inequities based on race and ethnicity and expand opportunities within law enforcement agencies for communities of color and other historically underrepresented New Jerseyans, said a Murphy spokeswoman.
The laws require that the Civil Service Commission investigates the states demographics, and examine the impacts of residency requirements and give resources to recruits through the hiring process.
For law enforcement, greater diversity is an avenue of equal opportunity and social justice, but also means for greater justice, state Sen. Joseph Cryan said earlier this year.
The cooperation between the police and community they serve will help improve the working relations between the community that they are serving by preventing crime, working effectively with victims and finding community support, said Cryan, D-Union.
Even though these laws help New Jersey officials understand more about the lack of diversity in policeing, a national trend may make a difficult reverse of the problem: American police are facing an exodus of Black officers.
This year, the number of black officers has fallen in five major police departments since 2008: NYPD was down 14% since 2008; Philadelphia police dropped 19% from 2017; Washington, D.C. has shrunk 12% since 2010; LAPD reduced 29%; Chicago police pushed 12%.
The trend for color officers in New Jersey is unclear, as many police departments were unable to meet the demographic, but a lot of the problems at the big department which are difficult to recruit and outreach in communities of color do exist here.
People traditionally dominated police, and their leadership still reflects that, said Richard Rivera, co-founder of National Coalition of Latino Officers and currently has Penns Grove police director.
To improve the department's demographics, officers will have to retire.
I don't just have the right to go out and get up, Rivera said. No people will just get up and leave, Rivera said. We don't just live on the water.
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Payton Guion and Rodrigo Torrejon are former reporters for NJ Advance Media.
Riley Yates could be reached by email at email@example.com.