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New Jersey Overlooked Red Flags to Produce More Diverse Police Recruits, Lawsuit Claims

February 29, 2016  | 

New Jersey State Police recruits at graduation. (Photo: New Jersey State Police)
New Jersey State Police recruits at graduation. (Photo: New Jersey State Police)

A veteran New Jersey state trooper alleges in a whistleblower lawsuit she was retaliated against by her superiors after raising objections that police academy background checks were compromised because of pressure to increase racial diversity among State Police ranks.

Acting Sgt. Jaclyn Jiras, who spent five months working as a background investigator at a time the division was being scrutinized for its lack of black cadets, claims she was reassigned and denied a promotion when she flagged applicants with troubled legal histories and criminal backgrounds.

Court records and administrative documents obtained by NJ Advance Media also show Jiras and another trooper, acting Sgt. Christopher Griffin, were disciplined for allegedly leaking information from confidential background investigations to a retired trooper who ran a Facebook group for State Police members.

Jiras claims in her suit that her superiors, under pressure from the state Attorney General's Office to boost recruit class diversity on short notice, approved candidates who had been automatically disqualified for having suspended licenses, criminal affiliations and active warrants, reports.

Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

jojo @ 2/29/2016 2:43 PM

How is that for diversity? The standards should be the same for everyone.

Tom Ret @ 2/29/2016 4:51 PM

A police organization that allows itself to be corrupted whether it be for pc, race reasons, or other is sad and probably a reflection of the corruption that seems to have increased in our institutions in general. If the whistleblower is right, I hope she wins big.

plato's playdough @ 2/29/2016 6:54 PM

Criminal backgrounds amidst qualified applicants, how can you not say THAT's diversity? Hillary would be proud.

Anderson @ 3/1/2016 7:33 AM

According to troopers that I have talked to, they even were forced to hire a subject with ties to the Bloods because of the push for diversity

JJ-Retired LEO @ 3/1/2016 7:40 AM

This is probably going on in more cities and counties than this, as it is more important to recruit minorities than hold up your standards. Give it a couple of years and watch, there will be more officers being involved in criminal activity and during the civil suit it will be found that they had a previous criminal record or something that should have prevented them from becoming an officer and yet did not. What will the politicians who are pushing this agenda now, say then?

John retired IA PD @ 3/8/2016 6:40 PM

Say, didn't we have someone from NJ running for President of the US, who was tough on crime as a prosecutor? Wonder what he has to say about this.

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