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September 16, 2013

Complaints about New Jersey’s state police force have been steadily dropping the past few years, with only 706 complaints filed in 2011, the most recent year reported.

That's down from 1,081 in 2007, according to a report from the Division of State Police. According to Colonel Joseph Fuentes, those 706 complaints should be compared against the 1.4 million contacts between the state police and public that year.

The largest number of complaints has to do with administrative issues, with 373 people filing complaints, down from 503 in 2007. The next-largest group had to do with misconduct, with 237 people filing complaints accusing officers -- 47 percent of which were initiated by citizens who had been arrested or issued a motor vehicle summons. The rate of misconduct complaints has stayed relatively stable over the past five years. On the other hand, performance complaints have dropped significantly from 290 to only 84 in 2011.

Of the 706 complaints, there were 243 cases completed. A total of 31 officers were given a written reprimand; 38 were given a disciplinary hearing; and 16 were told to seek counseling and given a performance notice. No action was taken in 151 cases.

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