City Council President Joyce E. Watterman is calling for a resolution at the next City Council meeting to form an ad hoc committee tasked to review the state of police policies and procedures on both enforcement and discrimination in Jersey City.
Council President Watterman, who is an ordained minister, has been troubled by the riots across the United States which were sparked by the widespread distribution of video showing a Minneapolis Police Officer’s killing a handcuffed and unarmed African American man. Dozens of protests occurred across the nation, some of which turned violent by agitators who turned on police, burned and looted stores.
“Due to the situation at hand, both the violence that occurred and the protests that have emerged from it, I believed this would be a good opportunity for us to examine how our police department handles various situation and make changes where needed,” the Council President said. “This is a time for Jersey City to examine its police procedures and have open dialogue with the community to bring reform.”
This past January, Joyce Watterman became the first African American woman to hold the seat as City Council President in the city’s 300-plus year history. Should her resolution pass the Council, the ad hoc committee will be constructed of a cross-section of the community, between 9 and 12 members with representation for all six municipal wards, clergy, educators, a retired police officer or a judge, and at least three sitting City Council members.
“Here in Jersey City, we want to be moving forward together in solidarity – not with more violence, but rather by creating robust and promising partnerships for a change that is sustainable now and for future generations to come,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop in support of reexamining the JCPD’s training and operational procedures to be able to the implement positive changes as identified by the committee.
Anyone interested in being a part of the committee can submit their resume by emailing your councilperson by June 19, 2020. For information call the Council office at 201-547-5134.
The resolution to form an ad hoc committee will be presented before the City Council at the next scheduled meeting being held virtually on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.