By: Najla Alexander
NJ AG authorities announced that Kevin D. Lutz has been appointed to serve as Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards (OLEPS).
Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said the appointment becomes effective on January 1, 2024, when current director Christina M. Glogoff assumes a senior leadership position within the Division of Law.
"The public's confidence in law enforcement depends on accountability and transparency in its law enforcement activities. The objective monitoring and support that OLEPS provides to law enforcement encourages and promotes the development of best practices," said Attorney General Platkin.
"Kevin Lutz is an accomplished police professional and a recognized change agent in the fields of police training and organization reform. His experiences as a law enforcement officer, as well as those as a leader in policing reform in New Jersey, will serve to inform the work produced by the Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards and ensure integrity in law enforcement practices."
According to officials, OLEPS is dedicated to promoting transparency by collecting, analyzing, and publishing data on law enforcement practices that inform the development and implementation of law enforcement policies and procedures.
Officials stated that it was established by the Law Enforcement Professional Standards Act of 2009, which codified the terms of the federal Consent Decree imposed on the New Jersey State Police by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 1999 when it brought a complaint alleging that the State Police engaged in a practice of using race to target minority drivers and passengers.
As part of its statutory responsibilities, officials said, OLEPS is responsible for reviewing New Jersey State Police rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures that address applicable non-discriminatory policy, the law of arrest, search, and seizure, and motor vehicle stop enforcement activities, and any other policy deemed necessary to maintain or enhance the practices of the State Police.
OLEPS is also responsible for reviewing and approving State Police training, data collection, and internal misconduct investigative practices and for performing operations audits, including an independent analysis of State Police policies and practices, officials say.
Authorities say OLEPS' role is not limited to NJSP and includes analysis and recommendations for law enforcement in New Jersey generally to ensure that law enforcement continues its practice of developing and revising policies and procedures in response to ever-evolving legal principles.
"I am dedicated to ensuring that New Jersey residents are served by law enforcement professionals who set national standards in integrity, proficiency, and accountability," said Lutz.
"I am honored to accept this position and thank Attorney General Platkin for the opportunity to contribute to advancing policing reforms, ensuring our law enforcement officers and leaders have the necessary tools and data to support their duties."
Lutz currently serves as the Chief of Police for the Rutgers University Police Department, Camden, where he instituted training and accountability measures to increase trust between the police department and the campus community.
Prior to this position, officials said, he held multiple command assignments as a senior police executive in the Camden County Police Department, including Deputy Director of the Camden County Police Academy, Criminal Investigations, Patrol, and Strategic Operations.
Lutz began his law enforcement career in 2002 with the Oaklyn Police Department before joining the former Camden City Police Department in 2006, officials say.
Officials said with the Camden City Police Department, he served in various assignments, including the SWAT team, the Narcotics Task Force, and the Shooting and Homicide Task Force.
The Camden City Police Department transitioned to the Camden County Police Department in 2013, where Lutz ultimately attained the rank of Captain, authorities say.
Officials said Lutz has earned numerous awards and commendations throughout his law enforcement career for heroism, bravery, and meritorious service.
He has assisted in the creation of two national curriculums for police de-escalation training, as well as safer response protocols and training guides for "Suicide by Cop" situations, officials say.
As a subject matter expert in defensive tactics and use of force, officials say, Lutz continues to promote de-escalation nationwide and has collaborated with the leading academic and social justice institutions to identify data-driven best practices in policing.
Officials stated he served on the working group that established New Jersey's nationally recognized Use of Force Policy and was a Regional Coordinator for fair and impartial policing.
Officials say that Lutz has additional experience in emergency management, strategic planning, community engagement efforts, organizational change, accountability, training, and officer safety and wellness initiatives.
Officials said Lutz is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a bachelor's degree in public administration and a master's degree in administrative science from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Glogoff has been the Director of OLEPS since 2011. Prior to becoming Director, Glogoff served as a deputy attorney general in the Division of Law. She joined the Division in 1999 after five years in private practice.
"I want to thank Christina Glogoff for her commitment to providing high-quality law enforcement in New Jersey and for her continued service to the State in a leadership position within the Division of Law," said Attorney General Platkin.