Peter Chen Weighs Impact of NJ’s Revised OPRA Law on Police Accountability

Peter Chen (’14), Senior Policy Analyst at New Jersey Policy Perspective, was quoted by NJ Spotlight News highlighting the harms of limiting accessibility to public records in light of recently enacted Open Public Records Act (OPRA) reform in New Jersey (“Concerns Remain Over OPRA Bill’s Effect on Police Accountability,” May 21). Citing the lag in reporting of basic crime data on the state’s website, Peter said, “[I]f you want to try to design a policy that supposedly addresses public safety issues, you got to be able to put in a public records request for basic crime data,” Peter said. “When we think about police accountability, not just in terms of the very basic data you need to make decisions about what kind of things would improve public safety, you can’t do that if you don’t have public records. And the public is at a disadvantage, because the agencies hold all the information.”