New Jersey is using a million dollars from criminal forfeiture funds to pay for an information campaign intended to prevent conflict during police and civilian encounters.
Attorney General Christopher Porrino says traffic stops are the most common place where misunderstandings can escalate to dangerous situations.
He says videos that will air on television, social media, and in movie theaters provide tips to ensure those encounters are safe and mutually respectful.
“If it’s nighttime and you’re pulled over, turn on the lights in car so the police officer can see who and what’s in there. Roll down your windows so the police officer doesn’t have to wonder about who or what is in the back seat. Turn the radio off. Put your hands on the steering wheel.”
The video feature community leaders, law enforcement, and celebrities including former New York Giants linebacker Jesse Armstead.
“Respect the work that the police officer has to do, and the police officer respect the citizen when you pull them over. I think things will work out so much better.”
Porrino is also issuing a new directive creating a dedicate hotline at the Attorney General’s office, 833-4-SAFE-NJ, for citizens to call if their complaints about police behavior are not addressed by local law enforcement in a timely manner.
“We want to make sure that the civilian community has a way to reach out to someone who is few steps removed from the process make sure that the process and the rules are being followed.”