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Justice Department Mulls Federal Monitor For Newark Police Department

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A Newark Police Department cruiser. (Credit Steve Sandberg)

A Newark Police Department cruiser. (Credit Steve Sandberg)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Newark Police Department may be getting a federal watchdog to crack down on misconduct, a move the ACLU applauds.

As WCBS 880′s Monica Miller reported, the Justice Department is in talks with Newark officials about the potential cost associated with putting the police force under a monitor.

Udi Ofer, the executive director of the ACLU of New Jersey, said the move is long overdue.

“The people of Newark have been calling for independent oversight of the Newark Police Department since the 1960s,” he told Miller.

Ofer said his watchdog group documented 261 Internal Affairs complaints in 2008 and 2009. One of those, an improper search, was sustained, he said.

“There was clearly a broken Internal Affairs system,” Ofer said. “Clearly of hundreds of allegations of police misconduct weren’t been adequately adjudicated.”

A City Hall spokeswoman said officials have been cooperating with the Justice Department and that a federal monitor is likely but has not definitively been decided.

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