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Internal Affairs Policies & Procedures

Ensuring accountability in New Jersey’s police departments


2021 Internal Affairs Policies and Procedures

In New Jersey, every state, county, and local law enforcement agency is required to establish a process for disciplining officers who commit misconduct or otherwise violate the agency’s rules. Generally speaking, this disciplinary process is handled by the agency’s “internal affairs” (IA) unit, which operates outside the normal chain of command and is responsible for investigating misconduct and recommending discipline to the agency’s leaders.

In 1991, the Attorney General issued Internal Affairs Policies & Procedures (IAPP), which established statewide standards for the operations of IA units in New Jersey. Five years later, in 1996, the Legislature went a step further, requiring that each law enforcement agency in New Jersey adopt its own policies consistent with IAPP. The document has been updated several times since then, including a significant revision in December 2019 as part of Attorney General Grewal’s Excellence in Policing Initiative. Several additional changes were made in subsequent years.

The current version of IAPP, which went into effect on June 9, 2021, is known as the “June 2021 IAPP” and includes an appendix of thirteen sample forms and documents. The first two of these sample forms are intended for public use: a “civilian complaint information sheet,” which explains how to file an IA complaint (Appendix A), and a standardized “internal affairs report form” for civilians seeking to file a complaint (Appendix B). Both of these documents have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Haitian, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. The remaining appendices (Appendix C to Appendix M) are intended for internal use by law enforcement.

The Attorney General has stayed implementation of Section 4.2.5 of the Revised Internal Affairs Policy and Procedure (IAPP) for 60 days or until further guidance is issued. The provision addresses the representation of multiple witnesses or subjects in an investigation by a single representative of a collective bargaining unit. See the attached memo from Thomas J. Eicher, Director of the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability.