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Podcast: Community Policing -- Old Idea or New Solution?

There are renewed calls for community policing in NJ, but what does that mean?

While we're on winter hiatus we'll be publishing podcasts of some of the most compelling and challenging sessions from our October NJ Spotlight On Cities conference, as well as a podcast diary of a colleague who is struggling with breast cancer.

Community policing is a not a new concept for those who have worked in criminal justice. But in the wake of some shootings and growing concerns over the relationships between police departments and civilians -- particularly in urban areas -- the idea is experiencing something of a resurgence.

At NJ Spotlight On Cities this October, we took a closer look at the idea with a panel moderated by Barry Carter, columnist for The Star-Ledger/NJ Advance Media. Panelists were: Camden County Police Chief J. Scott Thomson, whose efforts in Camden have garnered national attention; Todd Clear, distinguished professor at Rutgers-Newark, who has extensively researched community policing in municipalities around the country; Udi Ofer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, which has played a significant role in investigations into police wrongdoing in the state; and prominent community activist Lakeesha Eure, chair of the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition.


Our session on community policing was one of a dozen panels at this year’s inaugural NJ Spotlight On Cities. Now we’re gearing up for our second year, to be held in the fall. What are the big issues facing cities that we should be focusing on? Do you know of an organization that’s doing wonderful things in a New Jersey city? Or an idea that’s taken root in another American city that New Jersey might try? Or a speaker that we absolutely should know about? Tell us about it by emailing us at

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