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Polkowitz for Trustee

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Immediate Release from NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan on the NJ Advance Media “Report” on Police Use of Force

A story today from NJ Advance Media ( on law enforcement use of force will look to develop controversy and discontent by providing data with little context about the use of force officers are required to use. Police officers face an unparalleled challenge of saving lives, restoring peace, and bringing criminals to justice. The situations they face are dynamic and involve split second decisions. They are not done within the safety and security of a newsroom. The actions they take can mean life or death. In 2016 alone over 1,800 New Jersey Police Officers were assaulted while doing the job of protecting the communities they serve. The number of assaults on officers increased 8% and contempt for law enforcement is a growing trend nationwide. Often thanks to irresponsible and half-written articles like the one released today.

Yes, law enforcement is permitted to use force, and newspapers buy ink in barrels. No revelations there. Unfortunately print media has all but disappeared and has been replaced with online news. When you can't count newspapers anymore to tout your commercial success you have to generate "clicks" to sell advertising at top dollar. Regretfully, that has led to the demise of legitimate journalism in this country.

I knew where this "investigative report" was going the moment I saw the teaser headings and salacious preview video. It worked a few months ago for another NJ news organization so why not give it a crack here at They have provided you with a clickable database for watercooler banter today, nothing more. Like TMZ, Inside Edition and the like they are giving you a suggestive bit of sensational data to keep an unsuspecting public engaged. Regretfully and unfortunately they have only told half the story. True journalists at least attempt to tell an entire story.


November 2018 Issue of NJ COPS Magazine is Out

The November 2018 issue of NJ COPS Magazine is out and it contains vital information for our retired members from PBA LOCAL 600 regarding the upcoming PFRS Retired Trustee election.

RWJ Barnabas Executive Davis’ New Brunswick PD Ride-Along Cancelled

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I reached out to the New Brunswick Police Department today and asked them to cancel the ride-along scheduled tonight for RWJ Barnabas Executive Michellene Davis.  New Brunswick police agreed and the ride-along is officially canceled. In my opinion, the ride-long was turning into a media spectacle.  This was never my intention.  My responsibilities and loyalties are with the 33,000+ members of the NJSPBA, not the RWJ Barnabas Health public relations team.

As background, in response to an anti-law enforcement social media post by RWJ Barnabas Health Executive Michellene Davis, I went live on 101.5FM radio at 8:08am the morning the story broke and publicly called her and her employer out for anti-police bias.  I called her social media post ignorant and irresponsible that morning and I stand by those thoughts today.

At the time, I also challenged Ms. Davis to put on a bullet proof vest and ride along with police, an offer that she accepted.  I contacted New Brunswick police and they agreed to invite Ms. Davis on a ride-along.  I believe that to change anti-police bias we need to educate community influencers. The ride-along was always intended to show Ms. Davis first-hand what law enforcement has to experience each and every shift— for her to spend a night in our shoes.  I have not been asked by anyone at any time to “fix” this situation, and the ride-along challenge was made before RWJ Barnabas made any decision on Ms. Davis’ employment status.

After the controversy broke, Ms. Davis offered the following apology on social media: “I want to publicly apologize for an extremely insensitive and offensive comment posted on Facebook.  My concern for the safety of schoolchildren and gun violence led me to react to a headline without thinking. Having a late sister and other family in law enforcement I deeply respect the law enforcement community and appreciate their service and admire their sacrifice.”

Ms. Davis’ ignorant Facebook comment and the resulting media coverage shed light on what I believe is one of the most important things for law enforcement.  We must all stand together because any attack on law enforcement, regardless of whether the attack is on a local patrol officer or the state’s top law enforcement officer, is an attack on us all. 
Pat Colligan
President, NJSPBA

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Retired Law Enforcement Officer Permits to Carry Firearms and the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA)

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NJ Cops Magazine

November 2018 Back Issues
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President's Message

Patrick Colligan, NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan, President Keynote Address

On Jan. 17, NJ State PBA President Pat Colligan gave the keynote address at the graduation of the Cape May County Police Academy 41st Basic Course for Police Officers. Here are some excerpts from that address:

The NJ State PBA publishes New Jersey Cops Magazine and the director was kind enough to allow NJ Cops complete access from the very first day that these recruits arrived in August until their graduation today. It was an honor and a privilege to follow these recruits. The police academy provides extraordinary training for these recruits, and they are well prepared for policing in 2017 and beyond. The training will prepare them for just about anything that they will encounter.

What I would like to tell you first, in the audience, is what the Academy has done for you. I don’t think the officers are going to want us to talk about it, but you deserve it after watching them all leave every Sunday or Monday morning. This academy has taught them how to iron. They can make their beds. They learned how to use a washing machine. Unfortunately, it’s only khakis and whites, but I assume you can let them know how to use colors when you get home. Most importantly, they can shower, shave and do all of their other business and get out of the bathroom in 30 seconds. That’s what the academy has done for you.
Things have changed slightly since I graduated from a similar academy in 1992. Most of these recruits hadn’t been born yet. Yahoo was something you said when you were excited. Gas was $1.05 and you paid the toll on the Parkway with something called a token. So we can agree that times have changed since 1992. The technology has certainly changed, and much of the police training has changed. But the core principles of policing have not.

The members of the very first municipal police department from Boston reported for duty in 1838, as these officers are responding in 2017. What has not changed, and will never change, are the core values of law enforcement: professionalism, compassion, respect, integrity and dedication. Whether you respond on horseback or in a car, whether you respond with a lantern or a flashlight, the call was answered the same way in 1838 as it was in 1992, and will be tomorrow for some of you.

You will respond with professionalism, compassion, respect, integrity and dedication. Bring those values to every call. Treat every victim and even every suspect like you would want your family to be treated. And you will enjoy a very long, healthy and rewarding career. The technology may be vastly different 25 or 30 years from now. The training will change. But those core values will remain exactly the same – I guarantee it.

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