Federal monitor gives Newark police mixed grades in report

A federal monitor says Newark's police department is making significant progress in engaging with the communities it serves but needs to improve its handling of civilian complaints and investigations of officer misconduct.

The department has been under federal oversight since 2016 after a three-year Justice Department probe found widespread constitutional violations and lax oversight.

The quarterly report released Wednesday said monitors were heartened by the department's efforts to gain community trust and involvement.

It said the department must make it easier for civilians to file complaints and do a better job of classifying complaints, particularly ones involving serious alleged misconduct.

It also found that internal affairs interviews with officers weren't thorough enough and that the department still hasn't developed a required system to collect data on investigatory stops and searches.