A Series of Community Listening Sessions with Incoming Officer-In-Charge Isa Abbassi to follow
For Immediate Release: April 24, 2023
Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
PATERSON – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced that he will hold a community listening session in the City of Paterson on May 4th to discuss ways in which law enforcement, service providers, and community members can work together to improve the delivery of public safety services to individuals suffering from mental illness, those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and residents in mental health crisis. The event is open to the public and will begin at 5:00 p.m. at St. Luke Baptist Church.
This event will mark the first of many listening sessions related to public safety services for the Paterson community. Incoming Officer-in-Charge Isa Abbassi, who has been appointed by the Attorney General to take command of the Paterson Police Department as of May 9th, intends to hold a series of listening sessions in each ward of the City beginning in mid-May. Each event will provide residents with an opportunity to learn about changes being made to the Paterson Police Department, and ask questions directly of the new leadership team.
“I want to thank Reverend Kenneth Clayton, who serves as Pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church, for hosting the first of many planned listening sessions and for providing the Paterson community a place where we can come together to discuss how we can work to improve public safety services for people in crisis,” said Attorney General Platkin. “We know that for far too many, a mental health episode can result in law enforcement involvement, or worse can pose a safety risk to the person in crisis, their loved ones, or the responding officers. Today is the first step in building strong partnerships between law enforcement, community leaders, and mental health service providers to deliver effective interventions and improve our ability to keep all of our residents safe.”
“Public safety is a shared responsibility and we need to hear from those we serve so that we may chart a path forward together” said Incoming Officer-in-Charge Isa Abbassi. “I am committed to leading the members of the Paterson Police Department and serving the Paterson community. I am confident that together, we will transform the relationship between the people of Paterson and their police department while delivering excellence in police services to this great city.”
Members of the Paterson community interested in attending the May 4th event can register at www.njoag.gov/listening.
Details about the upcoming series of community events – including information about a city-wide townhall to be hosted by AG Platkin and OIC Abbassi – will be made available on the Paterson Police Department’s website in May.