TRENTON — Legislation sponsored by Senator Linda R. Greenstein and Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. that would create the “New Jersey Criminal Justice Information Sharing Environment Coordinating Council” in the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety cleared the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee today. The bill, S-2467, comes after several hearings in the committee examining ways to improve information sharing and collaboration between law enforcement agencies in New Jersey.
“When it comes to fighting crime, timeliness in sharing information is critical to yielding the desired results,” said Senator Linda R. Greenstein (D-Mercer and Middlesex), chair of the committee. “Breaking down the silos of policing and improving how agencies communicate and share information with each other will enhance the public safety of New Jersey’s residents, and that is the purpose of the council created under this legislation.”
The 15-member council created under this bill would be tasked with establishing a governance structure to guide the design, development, and implementation of a statewide, integrated criminal justice environment that would enable automated information sharing in a common format between federal, State, county, and municipal criminal justice agencies.
“We live in a digital age, and equipping law enforcement agencies with available information technology that will provide faster access to important information in the criminal justice process will aid in achieving public safety objectives for the citizens of our state,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex).
Among the intended objectives of the council is to improve the efficiency of criminal justice agencies by reducing redundant data collection and entry and reducing or eliminating labor intensive, time-consuming, paper-based processes.
The council would consist of the following members or their designees: Attorney General, the Superintendent of State Police, the Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the Chairperson of the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), the Commissioner of Corrections, the Chairman of the State Parole Board, the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission, the Public Defender, the Chief Technology Officer of the Office of Information Technology, the Essex County Prosecutor, and the Administrative Director of the Courts.
The council would also include a representative of each of the following organizations appointed by the Governor: the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey, the Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey County Jail Wardens Association, and the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.
The bill was released from the committee by a vote of 5-0. It next heads to the full Senate for consideration.