CEDAR GROVE, N.J. (PIX11) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday announced proposed legislation to create a statewide licensing process for police officers, establishing uniform standards for training including passing a psychological exam.
Calling it long overdue, Murphy praised the proposed legislation that would require law enforcement statewide to earn a license, similar to how lawyers and doctors are required to have a license.
“This license and all it will represent will lift up the overwhelming majority of women and men working honestly and diligently to keep our community safe,” Murphy said.
The legislation would require police officers to undergo a psychological exam and participate in training to obtain and maintain the license. In the event an officer has been reported for misconduct, the state would have the authority to suspend or revoke their license following a hearing.
Appearing with the governor Wednesday at the Essex County Police Academy in Cedar Grove, Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin said accountability played a central role in the legislation.
“Officers who fail to meet standards of professionalism not only will lose their right to have the privilege of wearing a badge, but they will also be unable to obtain a badge in a different town or in some cases an entirely different state,” Platkin said.
If the legislation passes in the state legislature, which it is expected to do, New Jersey will be the 47th state to have such a licensing program for its police officers.