According to an article by the Associated Press dated September 28, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy recently signed three bills into law directed at increasing racial diversity among law enforcement officers which will facilitate underrepresented populations to pursue law enforcement careers.  Murphy also signed an executive order creating the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. The new office’s responsibilities will include, overseeing training, addressing racial/discrimination inequalities in state government, and expanding opportunities for underserved New Jersey residents.

The three laws require the state’s Civil Service Commission to implement programs to boost diversity and make law enforcement more representative and equitable as follows:

S-2765–This law requires the Civil Service Commission to analyze the racial composition of police agencies in the state to identify those that could benefit from eliminating hiring preferences based on residency. The aim of this law is to ensure the racial makeup of police forces reflect the populations of the towns they serve.

S-2766–This law requires the Civil Service Commission to establish a mentoring program for law enforcement applicants who reside in underprivileged areas. The goal of this program is to connect applicants with mentors who will assist them in  navigating the application and hiring process.

S-2767–This law requires the Civil Service Commission to set up a universal background application and to develop and provide a database to collect all background information submitted by applicants, and track hiring decisions.  The database will be confidential.

The purpose behind these three newly enacted laws is to address the alleged “challenges” that underrepresented groups disproportionately face; and to bring more diversity to police forces and other law enforcement agencies by reducing or eliminating the alleged “obstacles” that make it difficult for minorities to join the ranks. It will be very interesting to see the operability of these new laws and whether they have the true desired effect that the Democratic Governor, House and Senate believe that it will.  In essence, other than S-2766, all that these new laws truly do is create a few studies in regard to diversity within our state’s law enforcement departments.  As far as I am concerned, this information is already readily available and easily discernable.  If the politicians truly seek to diversify our state’s law enforcement departments for the better, common sense dictates that a lot more than this must be done.  Time will tell whether we give them an “A” for effort, or if this will be nothing more than another “feel good” project that does nothing to bring this state and country back together.

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Photo of Frank M. Crivelli Frank M. Crivelli

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state…

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state, county and local law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS workers.

Mr. Crivelli specializes his individual practice in collective negotiations.  Over the past twenty (20) years, Mr. Crivelli has negotiated well over one hundred (100) collective bargaining agreements for various state, county, municipal and private organizations and has resolved over thirty-five (35) labor agreements that have reached impasse through compulsory interest arbitration.  Mr. Crivelli routinely litigates matters in front of the New Jersey State Public Employment Relations Commission, the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, third party neutrals for mediation, grievance and interest arbitration, the Superior Court of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Crivelli founded and created the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog ( approximately fifteen (15) years ago where he and members of his firm routinely publish blog posts regarding legal issues related to the employment of New Jersey Public Safety Officers.  The blog now contains over six hundred (600) articles and is reviewed and relied upon by thousands of public employees.  Mr. Crivelli has also published books and manuals pertaining to New Jersey Public Employee Disability Pension Appeals and the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation System. Currently, he is drafting a publication on how to Prepare and Negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  He lectures annually at the New Jersey State PBA Collective Bargaining Seminar, the National Association of Police Organization’s Legal Seminar, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission Seminar on Public Employment Labor Law, the United States Marine Corps’ Commander’s Media Training Symposium and to Union Executive Boards and General Membership bodies on various labor related topics.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Crivelli joined the United States Marine Corps where he served as a Judge Advocate with the Legal Services Support Section of the First Force Services Support Group in Camp Pendleton, California.  While serving in the Marine Corps, Mr. Crivelli defended and prosecuted hundreds of Special and General Court Martial cases and administrative separation matters.  In addition to his trial duties, Mr. Crivelli was also charged with the responsibility of training various Marine and Naval combat command elements on the interpretation and implementation of the rules of engagement for various military conflicts that were ongoing throughout the world at that time. After leaving active duty, Mr. Crivelli remained in the Marine Corps Reserves where he was promoted to the rank of Major before leaving the service.

For the past fifteen (15) years, Mr. Crivelli has been certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court for the State of New Jersey, a certification which less than two percent (2%) of the attorneys in New Jersey have achieved.  He is a graduate of Washington College (B.A.), the City University of New York School of Law (J.D.), the United States Naval Justice School, and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.