TRENTON - Governor Phil Murphy today signed a legislative package into law to create and establish protections for law enforcement. The series of bills provide resources and safeguards for New Jersey’s police officers.
“New Jersey’s law enforcement officers are the finest in the nation and we will take every step necessary to ensure their safety both in the line of duty and off-duty,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud to sign legislation that will support the officers who dedicate every day to us.”
“Each and every day our law enforcement officers risk their personal safety and well-being to serve our communities. We owe it to our officers to protect them not only from the dangers they face on the job, but also from the effects of daily trauma," said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. "Last year, the Governor and I addressed the largest gathering of law enforcement officers ever assembled in New Jersey at our statewide Resiliency Summit, which laid the foundation for this groundbreaking work. Today, we join our law enforcement community as we mourn the loss of Patrolman Edward Nortrup of the Roselle Park Police Department."
"Among the threats that a law enforcement officer may confront, perhaps no two things are more preventable than officers being unintentionally struck by motorists and officer suicide," said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. "This legislation will help raise public awareness about the importance of the 'Move Over Law' and will create essential training for law enforcement so that officers know how to get the help and support they need, but most importantly, it will help save lives."
“Today’s bill signings reflect on our obligation as a State to look after the safety and the physical and mental health of New Jersey’s law enforcement officers,” said Patrick Colligan, President of the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association (NJSPBA). “There are risks that are ever present in law enforcement and we can never foresee the day when an officer will face them. These bills will make a difference. The New Jersey State PBA is grateful to the Governor and the bill sponsors for making them a priority.”
“I am pleased that the Governor is supporting law enforcement by signing these 3 important FOP priority bills into law,” said Robert W. Fox, President of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police. “The signing of these bills will help improve the safety of the law enforcement community in this State.”
“For the third straight year in 2018, officer deaths by suicide outnumbered those who died in the line of duty in our country,” said Assemblyman Johnson. “An estimated 159 officers took their own lives last year, compared to the 145 who died in the line of duty. Those numbers are staggering and heartbreaking. We must do all we can to prevent these tragedies, beginning with ensuring the right people are trained to address troubling situations.”
“An entire community grieves the loss of an officer. When that loss may have been preventable, it’s all the more tragic,” said Assemblywoman Pinkin. “Our brave officers and their families deserve our utmost respect and support, particularly if they are going through difficult times. With the program created under this law, we can hopefully get these officers the help they need and potentially save lives.”
“Sadly, New Jersey has one of the highest rates of officer suicide in the nation; our state lost eight officers to suicide last year,” said Assemblywoman Lampitt. “But we cannot forget that suicide is preventable. The first step towards combating this crisis is to develop a comprehensive training program for our law enforcement agencies, and ensure they have the resources they need to identify and respond when someone needs help.”
“Sadly, the greatest threat facing our police force today is suicide. It is so prevalent in the profession that the number of police officers who died by suicide is more than triple that of officers who were fatally injured in the line of duty,” said Senator Weinberg. “This law will ensure we are addressing the mental health struggles of our law enforcement and connecting them with the help that they need.”
“New Jersey’s brave law enforcement community repeatedly rushes towards danger as others flee,” said Senator Oroho. “Continuously being exposed to stressful situations takes a mental toll, which can sometimes seem too great to bear. Empowering our police officers and corrections officers with resiliency tools and training will help our local heroes when they need it most.”
“Law enforcement officers take on the dangerous task of protecting communities across New Jersey. When they’re attacked or go missing, every resident of this state with any relevant information has a duty to come forward,” said Assemblyman DeAngelo. “Blue Alerts can provide a means of making sure that those who harm men and women in uniform are found and penalized accordingly.”
“Police work is inherently dangerous. Given the safety risks faced by law enforcement officers, it is only right that we create a system that would allow for more efficient communication to help ensure that an individual who attacks an officer is caught swiftly and brought to justice,” said Assemblyman Mukherji. “This not only ensures that justice is served for these officers, but helps protect the public by getting a dangerous individual off the streets as quickly as possible.”
“It is a priority to protect the people who protect us,” said Assemblyman Thomson. “The men and women in blue who literally put their lives on the line need to know that if they are harmed, we will do everything in our power to capture the criminals and bring them to justice.”
“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day in service to the communities they serve and the people they protect,” said Senator Cryan, vice chair of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee and the former Union County Sherriff. “If they are threatened, injured or go missing this will provide a ‘Blue Alert’ that enables others to act quickly. It could mean the difference between life and death in dangerous situations. The alert system will be modelled after the Amber and Silver Alert programs already in place in New Jersey to protect children and senior citizens.”
“Violators of the Move Over Law’ are putting officers at serious risk of injury or death, and they must understand that the severity of their actions,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling. “This law shows how seriously we take the safety of our state’s brave police officers.”
“We want to do everything we can to protect our state’s law enforcement officers,” said Assemblywoman Downey. “By penalizing individuals who violate the state’s ‘Move Over Law’ with points, they will understand that this is not an issue we in New Jersey take lightly.”
“Slowing down or moving over allows our public safety officers and highway management crews to do their jobs safely, especially here in New Jersey, which is the most densely populated state in the nation," said Senator Singleton. "I am pleased that New Jersey finally has a law that extends these highway safety protections to these workers.”