Paterson Police Department Provides Update on Strategic Plan

Paterson Police Department Provides Update on Strategic Plan

For Immediate Release: April 15, 2024

Paterson Police Department
Isa M. Abbassi, Officer-in-Charge

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Rob Rowan

Strategic Plan Update | Infographic

PATERSON – Paterson Police Department (PPD) NextGen Strategic Plan was unveiled in September 2023 to highlight the priorities of the department, guide the direction of, and outline changes being made to bring PPD into the next generation of public safety. It takes into consideration feedback from the community received through conversations and listening sessions with residents, and meetings with community leaders and elected officials, as well as with business owners and members of the police department.

The plan benchmarks the progress and achievements of these goals, including 55 short, medium and long-term interdependent initiatives. This update is the first of several progress reports that will be issued over the course of the plan’s two-year implementation schedule to keep the community informed and aid in transparency.

“In a relatively short time we have made great strides in moving the Paterson Police Department forward, while improving the quality, transparency, and accountability of the service we provide for everyone who calls the city of Paterson home,” said Officer in Charge Abbassi. “In these semi-annual reports we are keeping the public informed about the progress of our plan. We are continuing to evolve this department with our goals and initiatives, both big and small, to create the premier law enforcement agency in the state, if not the entire country. I am happy to share this report and let people know our work is still very far from complete, but these past six months have shown that we are definitely heading in the right direction. You can feel the change in the streets of Paterson, public sentiment towards the department has changed drastically since our work began, as has the overall morale of our officers who put in the work day in and day out. We are seeing results like a historic drop in crime and improving relations with the community, and I am excited to see what the next six months will bring. I want to thank Attorney General Platkin for his unwavering dedication to continuous improvement in policing and the continued support that he, Governor Murphy, and the New Jersey Legislature have demonstrated to the Paterson Police Department.”

“The PPD Strategic Plan is built on a foundation of communication and transparency.  As we successfully meet the goals and benchmarks defined in the report, we are also rebuilding trust and cooperation with the residents, business owners and community leaders of the City of Paterson. The results have also led to a significant drop in overall violent crime including a 33.3% reduction in shootings and a 39% reduction in murders for the calendar year 2023,” said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “Trust is a very difficult thing to rebuild and this will not happen overnight. I commend Officer in Charge Abbassi for his leadership and hard work in transforming the Paterson Police Department and I recognize the daily efforts of our law enforcement officers who are building a stronger Paterson and thank Governor Murphy and the Legislature for their continued support.”

When the Strategic Plan was first published to the public, 15 initiatives had already been completed with another 33 in progress. Since then a total of 31 initiatives have been completed and 20 are in progress, which leaves just 4 that have not been started yet.

Many of PPD’s initiatives focus upon constitutional and community-based policing. These include establishing a Police Advisory Council to advise the Officer in Charge on matters related to police operations and community engagement, including:

  • Hosting regular community roundtable discussions to allow police officers and community members to have open conversations on the direction of public safety within the city. In addition, a Paterson Police Department Clergy Council has been established to improve relationships and build bridges between law enforcement and the faith-based community.
  • Paterson Police officers assigned to an operational or investigative function have received customized training in the area of constitutional policing. Specifically, this included, but was not limited to, issues of investigative detention, protective frisks, searches, seizures, and laws around questioning those suspected of committing crime. The instruction demonstrated how officers can be more effective while protecting the civil liberties of the public they serve.
  • The department has introduced a customer service in policing program that informs officers of the best practices when interacting with members of the community so that they may better serve them. The “We Say Good Morning” campaign has emphasized the importance of a formal greeting towards Paterson residents, business owners, and visitors to build mutual respect and meaningful relationships with them. Building upon this initiative, police officers now carry “Contact Cards” that feature their identifying information as well as how residents can commend an officer or file a civilian complaint with the department.
  • Harnessing the practice of transparency and information sharing, the digital footprint of the Paterson Police Department has improved exponentially. The department’s website,, offers access to reports and resources as well as updates on community events such as listening sessions. In sharing important information via social media, such as severe weather events, investigations and showcasing officers patrolling the community, the department has grown its follower base, cementing the department’s status in the community.

The next semi-annual report of the Strategic Plan is expected to be released in Fall 2024.

On March 27, 2023, the New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin assumed control of all police functions in Paterson. Command of the department was assumed by key members of the Department of Law and Public Safety staff and leaders from within the New Jersey State Police. New York City Police Department Chief of Strategic Initiatives Isa Abbassi was named Officer in Charge of the Paterson Police Department at the time and took the leadership position several weeks later.


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