Monday, August 10, 2015

In NJ, Increase Penalties For Assaults On Police

Legislation sponsored by New Jersey State Senate Republicans Diane Allen and Christopher “Kip” Bateman to increase penalties for assaulting a corrections officer, sheriff’s officer and other law enforcement personnel because of their job status was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.

“These law enforcement officers have some of the most difficult and dangerous jobs that there are,” said Allen (R-Burlington). Unfortunately, the risk carries over into their personal lives when they are most vulnerable. These upgraded penalties now adequately reflect the seriousness of this type of crime and will hopefully help deter these types of violent attacks.”

Under the legislation, S-2583, the charge of simple assault will be upgraded to aggravated assault if the act was committed against the following individuals because of their job status: Department of Corrections employees; county corrections officers; juvenile corrections officers; state juvenile facility employees; juvenile detention staff members; juvenile detention officers; probation officers; or any sheriff, undersheriff, or sheriff's officer. Currently, simple assault is upgraded to aggravated assault only if the act occurs while the officer is engaged in their work duties.

S-2583 is consistent with state law upgrading simple assault to aggravated assault against a police officer because of his or her status as an officer.

“Sadly we’ve seen that sometimes police and other law enforcement officers are targeted and attacked because of their profession,” Bateman said (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer). “The vast majority of these men and women in uniform are honest and dedicated public servants. Today’s bill signing is an important step to protect these officers from violent attacks in public.” 

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