PATERSON, N.J. — A top-down, 9-month investigation of the Paterson Police Department's practices, including interviews with officers and the public, is set to kick off in March.
It comes in the wake of an FBI investigation that charged eight Paterson police officers with corruption.
"This audit is essential," said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, who had promised this since the beginning of his term.
Paterson is bringing in a national firm, Police Executive Research Forum or PERF to run the audit for $360,000. They’ll interview officers of every rank, review department policies, gather data and interview residents.
"To say 2019 was a difficult year for our department is an understatement," said Sayegh.
In 2019, there were protests across the city after the death of a man in police custody.
In addition to rebuilding trust, residents want more police officers to be hired and more walking patrols of the city to improve safety.
The audit will begin on March 1 and it will take 9-months to complete. But some recommendations from the report may be implemented sooner.