TRENTON: A veteran State Police trooper claims background check policy was compromised to show ethnic diversity. The ex trooper has now filed a whistle blower lawsuit which alleges flagged checks were ignored. She further claims that her superiors singled her out after she raised concerns. Pressure over racial diversity skewed background check policy. The ex trooper also alleges she was denied promotion and reassigned after raising concerns. As a background investigator for five months she flagged criminal backgrounds and applicants who had a troubled past. Her role was within a period when her division was under the microscope for it’s scarcity of black cadets.
The ex trooper together with an acting sergeant were also previously disciplined. The disciplinary action was as a result of leaked documents. These papers leaked to a trooper who had retired but operated a Facebook page for members of the State police. The information made public was specific to confidential background investigations. It was further claimed that pressure had come from the Attorney General’s office to boost ethnic diversity. However her superiors were put under short notice by the office. As a result of this short notice candidates were approved with active warrants, being criminally affiliated and had suspended licences. It is also claimed a bogus internal inquiry was concocted.
No comment was forthcoming from the attorney General’s office or the state police. The whistle blower oversaw background check policy between 2012 and 2013. This required checks being carried out on the 152nd and the 153rd academy classes. The lawsuit was filed February 10th in Mercer County Superior Court. The two classes were lauded as most diverse in the history of the State police. These ‘most diverse’ classes arrived promptly post the threat of legal action. This action claiming previously in 2011 that the division oversaw a class with only five black troopers. The threat of legal action was from the New Jersey chapter of the NAACP. The division had also been under scrutiny (federal monitoring) for a decade in light of racial profiling. The division who;s numbers had not been swelled by females or blacks settled in 2000 with the NAACP with a mandate to improve minority recruiting.
Attorney for the whistle blower claimed her client was not against diversity. However that background check policy was being circumnavigated. Diversity should be achieved by manipulation of the process. Partnerships with local law enforcement and mentoring programs were the way forward. The lawsuit confirms numerous individuals fell outside background check policy based on 24 automatic disqualifiers. These disqualifiers and restrictions were laid down by the state attorney general. Amongst the concerns raised were a Facebook page affiliated to the Bloods gang. Other flags saw an outstanding criminal warrant, suspension of a driving licence and tax evasion. For the full story please follow this link.
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