TRENTON – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and social distancing measures remain in effect, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal recently announced a series of Virtual Town Hall Meetings that, despite the public health crisis, will provide an opportunity for continued community engagement with law enforcement.
The Attorney General’s 21 County, 21st Century Community Policing Project, “21/21” for short, is designed to sustain a continuum of public engagement with law enforcement in every county. On April 22, Attorney General Grewal hosted a session with over 400 participants on the availability of services for victims and survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina hosted the second session on Thursday on continuing recovery and addiction services.
The third of the Virtual Town Hall Meetings is scheduled for Monday, May 11, at 4 p.m. The session, held on the first day of National Police Week, will focus on Law Enforcement’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Grewal will be joined by Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, Marcus O. Hicks, Esq., Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Veronica Allende, Director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, Chief Chris Leusner, Chief of the Middle Township Police Department and President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Chief Nichelle D. Luster, Chief of the Union City Police Department and Pat Colligan, President of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association. The program will honor those we’ve lost and the panelists will discuss law enforcement’s response to the pandemic and share lessons in leadership during a crisis.
Anyone wishing to participate in Monday’s virtual event can do so by registering here.
“Our law enforcement officers are courageously risking their lives each day to protect us— performing their regular duties as well as many new duties imposed by COVID-19— with the result that nearly 600 officers have now tested positive for the virus in New Jersey and nine officers have lost their lives,” said Attorney General Grewal. “It is fitting that on the first day of National Police Week we should honor the heroes we have lost, as well as all of the officers who are bravely and selflessly answering the call during this pandemic. We will also take the opportunity to examine how law enforcement has responded to this unprecedented health emergency and what lessons we have learned that will help us save lives and better serve our communities.”
Announced in April 2018, the Attorney General’s “21/21 Project” was conceived as a way to promote stronger police-community relations by bringing together law enforcement and community stakeholders in every county for face-to-face town hall meetings, roundtable discussions and other outreach events.
With social distancing measures in place and non-essential travel discouraged, however, such public gatherings are not possible.
In the midst of the pandemic, the planned Virtual Town Hall Meetings are both a way to maintain law enforcement-community engagement, and a means of addressing key COVID-related issues and public questions in real time. All sessions are recorded and translated into Spanish for our 21/21 archive. Click here for 21/21 Town Hall archive.
In addition to Monday’s session, Attorney General Grewal will host a Town Hall discussing COVID-19 Fraud Schemes on Tuesday, May 19, at 12 p.m. He will be joined that day by Craig Carpenito, United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Christopher J. Gramiccioni, Monmouth County Prosecutor, Tracy Thompson, Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and Paul R. Rodriquez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. Those wishing to participate in the May 19 Town Hall session can register here.
The Bias Virtual Town Hall session will be held on May 28 at 12 p.m. with registration and further details to be announced in the near future.