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FY22-23 Byrne SCIP Formula

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $5,317,826)

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (NJOAG) proposes to enhance the New Jersey Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018 (ERPO Act). This Act allows a petitioner to apply for an ERPO against someone who poses a danger of causing bodily harm to self or others by possessing or purchasing a firearm. It expands those who may petition to include family members and law enforcement officers. Subsequent NJOAG and New Jersey Judiciary directives promulgated implementation of ERPOs for law enforcement personnel and court staffs.

Public awareness will achieve success of the ERPO Act. This will be accomplished through a media campaign designed to inform the public-at-large about the benefits of ERPOs. A strong and clear message will allow individuals to understand that ERPO program exists, and will clarify distinctions between the ERPO Program and other exiting programs that may limit who may be a petitioner. NJOAG will additionally involve outreach initiatives to community members and leaders engaging with at-risk individuals to raise public awareness about the public safety benefits of ERPOs. The second area of focus involves continued training of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and court staff, who are responsible for both educating the public about the ERPO Programs and filing, processing and litigating ERPO petitions.

This proposal will also assist in expanding a proposed New Jersey State Police program called ARRIVE Together (“Alternate Responses to Reduce Instances of Violent Escalation”). This initiative is currently piloted in New Jersey’s Cumberland County. ARRIVE Together is designed to improve interactions between law enforcement and individuals with mental health disorders by implementing co-responder programs that pair plainclothes law enforcement officers with mental health specialists to respond together to behavioral health crisis 9-1-1 calls.  It proposes to circumvent harm that may come to individuals with mental health disorders when they encounter law enforcement. Because officers often lack expertise to clinically address mental health disorders, it is designed to avoid potentially violent outcomes leading to potential use of force by police. Additionally, it seeks to circumvent the extreme action of hospitalization, which can be disruptive and traumatic (and often lead to escalating situations) to individuals suffering from mental health disorders.

These initiatives are designed to prevent crises by both strengthening community safety, protecting the public from crime and evolving threats and protecting (as opposed to punishing) those with mental health disorders. Furthermore, they serve to build trust between law enforcement and communities.

Date Created: February 13, 2023