The Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards (OLEPS) is responsible for reviewing New Jersey State Police rules, regulations, and standing operating procedures that address applicable non-discriminatory policy, the law of arrest, search and seizure, and motor vehicle stop enforcement activities, and any other policy deemed necessary to maintain or enhance the practices of the State Police. OLEPS is also responsible for reviewing and approving State Police training, data collection, and internal misconduct investigative practices, and for performing operations audits, including an independent analysis of State Police policies and practices.
The Office is dedicated to serving the citizens of New Jersey by promoting transparency in the development and implementation of law enforcement policies and procedures. The process of collecting, analyzing and publishing data on law enforcement practice promotes departmental integrity and allows law enforcement agencies the ability to self-assess and to continue to promote effective and unbiased policing.
In recognition of the strong public policy interest in perpetuating the quality and standards established under the Consent Decree of December 1999, the federal independent monitoring team (IMT) issued sixteen reports assessing the efforts of the State Police to comply with the provisions of the Decree.
In April of 2009, it was agreed that the State of New Jersey and the Office of State Police Affairs (OSPA) would begin to assume the duties previously performed by the independent monitors including the assessment of compliance with the Decree. Effective September 21, 2009, the Legislature enacted the Law Enforcement Professional Standards Act of 2009. (N.J.S.A. 52:17B-222, et seq.).
The Act established the Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards (OLEPS) within the Office of the Attorney General and assumed the functions that had been performed by the federal monitors under the consent decree. OSPA was succeeded by OLEPS in October 2009.
The Act further authorizes OLEPS to conduct operations, audits and independent analyses of data, as necessary, to identify any potential disparity in enforcement. OLEPS analyses is also important to identify systematic problems that may exist affecting the integrity of motor vehicle stops, post-stop enforcement actions, supervision of patrol activities, training provided to New Jersey State Police members assigned to patrol duties, investigations of alleged misconduct and other matters affecting the integrity of the New Jersey State Police. Based on its audits, OLEPS is required to prepare a semi-annual report that evaluates the Division of State Police’s compliance with relevant performance standards and procedures. OLEPS is also required to publish a semi-annual report that includes aggregate statistics on the Division of State Police’s traffic enforcement activities and procedures, segregated by Division of State Police station and providing aggregate data on race and ethnicity of the civilians involved. OLEPS further reports aggregate data regarding misconduct investigations, including the number of external, internal and total complaints received and the disposition of those complaints.