Gurbir S. Grewal

In this dated photo, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal speaks with students from his alma mater West Essex High School's newspaper on Feb. 6. The attorney general announced on April 6 a new initiative to foster better relations between law enforcement and the public.

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal wants to improve relations between the public and law enforcement.

To reach that objective, the New Jersey attorney general announced on April 5 a series of meetings between law enforcement, community leaders and other stakeholders on a quarterly basis.

This new initiative called “The 21 County 21st Century Community Police Project” will hold its first such meeting in Middlesex County on June 14 at the Stelton Community Center in Edison.

In response to Grewal’s initiative, Monroe Township Police Chief Michael Lloyd said in a statement, “Our officers actively engage in speaking engagements with groups that request our presence at their scheduled events. We look forward to this tradition continuing and hopefully expanding in the future.”

In total Gurbir’s office said this would result in 80 events across New Jersey in the next year in an effort to help reduce the divide that exists between law enforcement and the public.

“Every day, law enforcement officers across New Jersey work closely with the members of the public to keep our streets safe,” Grewal, in part, said in a statement. “But that does not mean we cannot do better, and strengthening police-community relations in New Jersey is one of my top priorities.”

The meetings would be led by each county’s respective prosecutor each quarter. The meetings will focus on areas of concern identified by the Attorney General’s Office which are “Investigation of Officer-Involved Shootings,” “Opioids,” “Immigration Enforcement” and “Bias Crimes.”

“We’re upping the ante with this project, which mandates a total of 84 events over the course of a year involving every county and addressing vital topics,” said Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig, “… which can be tackled more effectively if police and community members unite in seeking solutions.”

The future meetings will be open to the general public.

For additional information about this initiative or a listing of events, visit nj.gov/oag/2121/

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Correspondent

Christopher Lang is a freelance correspondent for MonroeNow. Previously he was part of The Record-USA Today Network and served as an editor for a decade at NJMG.

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