|TRENTON – The Office of the Attorney General today released the final report of the New Jersey SAFE Task Force, created by Governor Christie and tasked with evaluating violence in New Jersey and its intersection with the issues of gun control, addiction, mental health and school safety.
The report and its recommendations explore the role and effectiveness of policies that encompass gun control law, regulation, and enforcement, mental health and addiction, violence in the media, and school security measures play in safeguarding our citizens.
The product of two months’ research, including well-attended public hearings in Camden, Lincroft and Newark, the Task Force Report to the Governor contains 50 recommendations for action. Each chapter of the report contains a detailed discussion that serves as a forerunner to specific recommendations.
Created by Executive Order of Governor Christie on January 17, 2013, the Task Force consists of six members, and is chaired by two former New Jersey Attorneys General – Peter G. Verniero and John J. Degnan. Its membership was comprised of individuals with expertise in the fields of mental health diagnosis and treatment, addiction services and treatment, gun control and law enforcement, and school safety. That membership included: Dr. Manuel Guantez, CEO of Turning Point, Inc., which provides alcohol and drug addiction treatment; James Romer, Monmouth County Services Director at Monmouth Medical Center; Evelyn Sullivan, Managing Director at Daytop Village of NJ, a substance abuse treatment and education program and Dr. Brian Zychowski, Superintendent of North Brunswick Public Schools.
Although New Jersey is widely known to have some of the nation’s toughest gun laws, Governor Christie created the New Jersey SAFE Task Force as a means of taking a deeper and more expansive look at the problem of violent crime including, but not limited to, mass gun violence.
In addition to hosting three public hearings, the Task Force held regular meetings, met with representatives of State agencies and reviewed written submissions from the public, as well as professionals from such fields as law enforcement, corrections, education, parole, juvenile justice, mental health treatment and substance abuse counseling.
The final report can be accessed here.