By: Najla Alexander
Authorities in Paterson announced that officers are now carrying contact cards to hand out as they interact with community members throughout the city.The Paterson Police Department stated that the front of the contact card features the officer’s rank, full name, and badge number.
According to officials, the back features a QR code that, when scanned, takes the user to a Police Encounter Q&A page that includes commonly asked questions about police interactions.
The page will also provide information on how to submit a complaint or a compliment regarding their interaction with a Paterson police officer, officials said.
“These contact cards are an important step forward in our effort to police constitutionally and increase transparency,” said Officer in Charge Isa Abbassi.
“It will also allow our officers to better introduce themselves to members of the community and improve our customer service.”
Authorities say these cards offer another level of accountability, where officers are instructed to hand out the cards to members of the community when they are asked for them. Community members can use them to more easily check on the status of police reports, know who they interacted with at incident scenes, and build relationships with the officers they see patrolling their neighborhoods, officials say.
Paterson officials say requiring officers to carry a sufficient number of “Contact Cards” on patrol and provide them to any person requesting one is one of the 55 goals and initiatives outlined in Officer in Charge Abbassi’s 2023 Strategic Plan for the Paterson Police Department.
The Strategic Plan outlines the direction of the department to bring it into the next generation of policing, officials stated.