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New Jersey PBA president Patrick Colligan

Police unions threaten suit over Grewal directive

By Nikita Biryukov, June 26 2020 9:48 am

Some of the State’s largest police unions intend to sue Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in order to block the release of the names of officers who have been fired, demoted or suspended for five or more days over the last 20 years.

“Unfortunately, the firm deadline of July 15 for the publication of names coupled with the Attorney General’s outright denial to negotiate in good faith has left us with no other option than to file litigation and seek temporary restraints until our arguments are heard in court,” the unions said in a joint statement.

The unions threatening legal action include the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, the State Troopers Fraternal Assocation (STFA), the STFA NCO Association, the STFA Superior Officers Association, the NJ Fraternal Order of Police and the Jersey City Police Officer’s Benevolent Association.

The police unions argue that the retroactive release of punished officers’ names would expose the officers’ families to risk, though it’s not clear how.

“Some of our numerous concerns include the physical safety and mental well-being of our members and their families, the potential to easily identify other involved parties, and the existence of strict confidentiality in internal investigations and voluntary disciplinary agreements,” the unions said.

Unless the unions obtain an injunction to halt the order, the officers’ names must be released by July 15.

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