The City of Newark is dedicated to providing effective and impartial services, especially in the area of public safety. In light of the recent national events, it’s necessary to demonstrate the ways in which the Newark Police Department (NPD) practices competence as they enforce the laws, preserve life and property, solve problems that arise in the community and protect the rights of all citizens to live in a safe, peaceful environment.
NPD is a full-service police department that operates on a “Community Policing Philosophy.” In the past decade, the Newark Police Department has reorganized and adapted their response to crime and calls for service in the city. In 2006, there were 78 reported robberies in Newark. Working hand in hand with the community, the number of robberies was reduced to 19 in 2018 and a record low of just 18 in 2019. It takes a minute to realize that in one year alone, 60 fewer people were held up at gunpoint, physically assaulted or robbed.
For more than 23 years, the Newark Police Department has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc (CALEA). CALEA accreditation ensures that an agency is meeting the best practice standards in law enforcement and that policies and procedures follow the latest practices in the field of law enforcement. CALEA accreditation requires that policies and procedures are reviewed almost daily to meet CALEA’s annual compliance standards. Out of the nearly 18,000 police agencies in the United States, NPD is one of 733 agencies to be CALEA certified. In 2018, Newark Police was recertified as a “Gold Standard Agency with Excellence.” To achieve the Gold Standard Award, an agency must have earned at least two consecutive years of the award it’s seeking. 138 agencies nationwide – less than 1% — have earned the gold standard in the last four years.
Although we are confident sworn officers employed by the City operate with professionalism, we respond to the 8 Can’t Wait suggestions for police reforms as follows:
1. The daily use of body cameras for all police officers throughout the State of Delaware.
2. The establishment of a civilian police review board within each police agency that has subpoena power.
3. The implementation of an Imminent Danger policy that directs police officers to not place themselves in a situation where they have to use deadly force.
4. The recruitment and hiring of Black and Brown police officers that better reflect the demographics of our communities.
5. The ban of the use of knee holds as acceptable in the Use of Force Continuums within all police departments.
6. A review of the State of Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to determine if the so-called Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights is in direct conflict with the spirit and intention of FOIA. In our view, it is and requires abolishment accordingly.
7. A review of police department’s records of disciplining or charging officers charged with misconduct.
8. Increased crisis intervention services and ongoing proactive mental health services for police officers.
NPD utilizes an Early Warning System, which is a comprehensive program designed to help assess and evaluate employee performance and quickly address any identified concerns before disciplinary action is necessary.
It is the policy of the NPD to pursue available means by which steps are taken to provide proactive measures in employee health issues. As a basic step toward this policy, the Department will maintain a number of officers trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). The officers serving as members of the CISM team will be available to respond and assist officers involved in critical incidents or officers in need of their services as a result of a stressful incident. Members requiring such services will have the option of asking for the same services for a spouse or immediate family member when a situation arising on-duty creates a traumatic impact on their family. The Newark Police Department CISM Team was formed as a response to an identified need for management of traumatic stress among police personnel. The team is tasked with providing emotional support to members of the Department in the aftermath of critical or traumatic incidents and to minimize the harmful effects of critical incident stress. The primary goal of the team will be to return members to a state of normal coping and emotional well-being through appropriate peer support.In 2020, NPD will host an Officer Wellness and Resiliency train the trainer class for its officers as well as other officers from other agencies throughout the state.
Maintaining public trust and providing transparency to members of the community is of utmost importance and we are pleased to provide answers to frequently asked questions here:Are the police officers in the Newark Police Department being trained to de-escalate altercations by using peaceful conflict resolution strategies?Newark Police officers complete their initial training that includes de-escalation, mental health de-escalation and unbiased policing while attending the police academy. De-escalation training teaches officers to attempt to resolve a situation using verbal skills rather than with force. If force is necessary, officers are taught to resort to less lethal forms of force when practical. Newark Police receive refresher training annually in these topics, along with legal training on the Fourth Amendment and the latest related caselaw.
1. Are the police officers in the Newark Police Department prohibited from using carotid restraints (chokeholds, strangleholds, etc.)?
2. Are the police officers in the Newark Police Department required to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force? Will officers be reprimanded if they fail to intervene?
3. Are the officers in the Newark Police Department required to give a verbal warning to citizens before drawing their weapon or using force?
4. Are the officers in the Newark Police Department required to report each time they threaten to or use force on citizens?
5. Are the officers in the Newark Police Department trained to perform and seek necessary medical action after using force?