Edison, NJ PD Citizen Complaints

Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer filed this request with the Edison Police Department of Edison, NJ.
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Alexander Cartwright

Hello,

I see that some of this information is available in your annual report, but there is not information in the report about Officer Involved Shootings. Could you please pay careful attention to #4 in my request?

Thank you in advance.

Respectfully,
Alex Cartwright

From: Alexander Cartwright

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Open Public Records Act ("OPRA"), I hereby request the following records:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am an Economics Professor in the College of Business at Ferris State University, and I am engaged in an empirical research project on police behavior and citizen complaints. This project requires me to request data from your department. If you have questions about my request or suggestions, I would be happy to discuss them with you.

1. What is the total number of citizen complaints (allegations of misconduct) made against your department’s officers annually for the last 10 years? If your department logs complaints in a database, spreadsheet, or other log, a copy of those logs is fine instead.

Please include the type of complaint (i.e., use of force, abuse language, unwarranted search) and the result of complaint (i.e., sustained, exonerated).

2. What is the total number of complaints police officers made against their peer officers in department annually for the last 10 years? If your department logs complaints in a database, spreadsheet, or other log, a copy of those logs is fine instead.

Please include the type of complaint (i.e., use of force, abuse language, unwarranted search) and the result of complaint (i.e., sustained, exonerated).

3. What is the total number of calls for service your department received annually for the past 10 years? If your department logs calls for service in a database, spreadsheet, or other log, a copy of those logs is fine instead.

4. What is the annual number of officers involved in shootings in your department for the past 10 years? Any documentation or reports that detail the annual number of officer-involved shootings in your department for the past 10 years would be sufficient.

Please include documentation regarding how many of these officer-involved shootings involved disciplinary action. (Please list officer firearm discharge directed at a person separately from a shooting involving an animal and separately from accidental firearm discharges).

Please include the number of officer-involved shootings resulting in discipline.

5. Which of the above data are published publicly? Please provide a link to any and all publicly available reports containing the data above.

Collecting this information is very important to my research, so I would like to emphasize, if you have questions about my request or suggestions, I would be happy to discuss them with you.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 7 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Alexander Cartwright

From: Muckrock Staff

To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following request, copied below. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Edison Police Department

OPRA is used to obtain specific documents. Questions are not answered through OPRA.
If you are looking for Township documents please resubmit your request.

Thank you,
Maureen Connell
Clerk’s Office
732-248-7350

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Hello Maureen,

Thank you for the response. Because I am not aware of the title of the documents that contain the data I am looking for, I am not able to request the specific document. Does your police department track citizen complaints? If so, can you please send along those documents for the previous 10 years?

Thank you.
-Alex Cartwright

From: Edison Police Department

Mr. Cartwright,

Due to the email feed I’m not clear if you are requesting a citizen complaint list or all the requests from 2017.
Please clarify what you wish to obtain at this time.

Thank you,
Maureen Connell
Clerk’s Office
732-248-7350

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Sorry for the confusion. I would like to know : # of citizen complaints in 2017, # of citizen complaints in 2016, # of citizen complaints in 2015.....for the previous 10 years please. Along with the same information for peer complains and officer involved shootings as specified in my original request.

Very Respectfully,
-Alex Cartwright

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

I am writing to follow up on my original request made on

Thank you very much for providing the information we requested. I am writing to ask for some clarification regarding the data on officer-involved shootings. We requested the total number of annual officer involved shootings each year for the past 10 years.

While you sent us data on officer complaints, the OIS data seems to have been overlooked. Could you please provide that data? If not, could you please clarify that your department does not collect OIS (officer involved shooting) data.

If you are able to provide the data, please define what constitutes an officer-involved shooting in your department. For example, some departments do not count misses while others count all discharges; some include shots at animals. Other departments include intentional and accidental shootings; others do not. Please explain to us how your department classifies the OIS included in the numbers you sent to us.

Respectfully, -Alex Cartwright

From: Edison Police Department

Mr. Cartwright,

Was the email below intended for Edison? To date I have no record of forwarding you any documents.
The last correspondence I have with you is clarification received for your OPRA request.

Thank you,
Maureen Connell
Clerk’s Office
732-248-7350

From: Edison Police Department

Mr. Cartwright,

The documents you have requested can be found at Edisonnj.org.
Please go to: Departments
Police
Professional Standards
This completes your OPRA request.

Thank you,
Maureen Connell
Clerk's Office
732-248-7350

WARNING: Email received by or sent to Township officials is subject to the Open Public Records Act [OPRA]. This means that absent some specific privilege, all such communications are considered a public record and are subject to publication and/or dissemination to the public upon request.

From: Edison Police Department

For the Officer Involved Shooting data, our records revealed one incident in the last ten years (December 23, 2009). The Officer fired his weapon but the suspect was not struck. There was no discipline issued.

Thank you,
Maureen Connell
Clerk's Office
732-248-7350

WARNING: Email received by or sent to Township officials is subject to the Open Public Records Act [OPRA]. This means that absent some specific privilege, all such communications are considered a public record and are subject to publication and/or dissemination to the public upon request.

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

I am writing to follow up on the documents you sent me on 6-14-18.

Thank you very much for providing the information we requested. I am writing to ask for some clarification regarding the data on officer-involved shootings you provided us with. What constitutes an officer-involved shooting in your department? For example, some departments do not count misses while others count all discharges; some include shots at animals. Other departments include intentional and accidental shootings; others do not. Some include all discharges and some exclude missed shots. Please explain to us how your department classifies the OIS included in the numbers you sent to us.

Very Respectfully, Alex Cartwright

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Thank you very much for providing the information we requested. I am writing to ask for some clarification regarding the data on officer-involved shootings. We requested the total number of annual officer involved shootings each year for the past 10 years.

While you sent us data on officer complaints, the OIS data seems to have been overlooked. Could you please provide that data? If not, could you please clarify that your department does not collect OIS (officer involved shooting) data.

From: Edison Police Department

Mr. Cartwright,

I have forwarded you email to the Police Department.
As soon as I receive their response I will forward it to you.

Thank you,
Maureen Connell
Clerk’s Office
732-248-7350

From: Edison Police Department

Mr. Cartwright,

Per the Police Department:
We do not specifically track officer involved shootings. We have nothing further regarding this request.

Thank you,
Maureen Connell
Clerk’s Office
732-248-7350

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Sir,

You told me in your correspondence on 6/14/18 that there was one officer involved shooting, "For the Officer Involved Shooting data, our records revealed one incident in the last ten years (December 23, 2009). The Officer fired his weapon but the suspect was not struck. There was no discipline issued.

Thank you,
Maureen Connell"

I am simply asking how this was determined. Are OIS counted as shoot and miss? only hits? do they include discharges on animals ? I am simply asking for clarification on data you provided me with.

Respectfully,
-Alex Cartwright

From: Edison Police Department

The Edison Police Department does not have a policy to define an officer involved shooting (OIS), but the Department commonly refers to an OIS as an incident where a police officer discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a person, as part of the use of force continuum. Firing a firearm as such would be considered deadly force, whether or not an individual is injured or struck with the projectile. The act of firing at a person is the determining factor, and thus excludes training or other incidents that don’t involve deadly force within the contemplation of an OIS. This is consistent with Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Directive #45 (page 11), and the FBI’s opinion regarding UCR classification for an OIS.

Thank you,
Maureen Connell
Clerk’s Office
732-248-7350

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