PATERSON, N.J. — On the same day two of its officers were charged with allegedly beating a man and lying about it late in 2020, the state of New Jersey announced that the Paterson Police Department will have its internal affairs department taken over by the county.
The Passaic County Prosecutors Office led by Camelia M. Valdes will assume responsibility for the internal affairs functions of the PPD and will have full oversight, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Tuesday. A review will take place between county prosecutors and Grewal’s Office of Public Integrity & Accountability to determine recommendations to improve efficiency, quality and efficacy of PPD’s internal affairs.
“The people of Paterson deserve a police department worthy of their trust,” said Grewal. “They deserve to know that allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. With today’s action, the Prosecutor’s Office will ensure that happens.”
This comes the same day that Paterson police officers Kevin Patino, 29, and Kendry Tineo-Restituyo, 28, were both charged with depriving a victim of his Constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by law enforcement officers and with filing a false police report.
“The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to work with the Paterson Police Department to enhance greater delivery of services and greater accountability,” said Valdes. “We look forward to an expansive analysis of the needs of the department, from infrastructure to police practices to personnel. There is no better place to continue the important work of reform and restoration than the Internal Affairs Unit.”
The prosecutors office will, in the wake of the charges against Patino and Tineo-Restituyo, review all criminal matters in which they signed complaints, handled evidence, testified in a judicial proceeding or provided material leading to arrest, complaint or indictment.
Any member of the public who wishes to make a complaint to this office regarding police misconduct of any Passaic County agency may contact the Public Integrity Unit of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office or the tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or email@example.com.