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I know I speak for every law enforcement officer in New Jersey and the vast majority of its residents when I say the recent Signe Wilkinson editorial cartoon called "KKK Defense" was not only insulting but it serves to do nothing more than continue the Asbury Park Press false narrative that policing in New Jersey is violent and biased.

The cartoon depicting a black teen in a KKK hood so he can avoid being harassed by the police says more about Gannett's anti-police bias than it does about reality. Law enforcement officers interact peacefully with the public every day performing hundreds of thousands of acts of kindness and service to those in trouble, in danger or in need. Instead of reinforcing stereotypes, Garnett should be using its paper to bring people together. Garnett owes every law enforcement officer in NJ an apology for suggesting that racism motivates our actions.

Perhaps Signe Wilkinson would benefit from spending less time drawing and more time with the people who serve every member of our communities to learn how inaccurate his depiction is. Or perhaps this is just more of the same from the Asbury Park Press hoping to further tear down the law enforcement in our State.

Pat Colligan
State President
NJ State PBA

View Official Letter Here

“On behalf of the 33,000 members of the New Jersey State PBA, tens of thousands of retired officers and the future generations of officers to come I want to thank Governor Murphy for approving Senate Bill 5 and for working closely with us on the changes with his Conditional Veto today. I am grateful to Governor Murphy for his very personal commitment to the future of the PFRS.

Nearly 20 years ago PFRS was overfunded and amongst the healthiest pension systems in the United States. But after years of fiscal gimmicks and State ineptitude our pension fund has sunk to levels that we could no longer ignore. Senate Bill 5, along with the Governor’s recommendations, provides the PFRS Board of Trustees with exclusive powers over the investment, policy making and management of the pension system. Today's changes establish a solid future funding of our pensions and an eventual pathway for the return of COLA and the return of a single tier of employees. No longer will PFRS members be forced to suffer from the poor decision making and political expediency that marked the State’s stewardship of our pensions over the years.

With this bill competent professionals and a focused Board of Trustees will protect the fund from abuse and control investment decisions designed only to grow the value of the PFRS.

I want to especially thank Senate President Sweeney for sponsoring this bill and for his passionate leadership in advocating for this concept to protect our pensions. Final passage of this bill will begin a new era in pension management in New Jersey. The growth of PFRS protects the promise of a pension and security for their families made to our members when they became law enforcement officers.

The intent of this bill is clear: we want to fully fund the PFRS and we now finally have the vehicle to make that a reality.”

The recent hysteria from local government officials about PBA endorsed legislation to restructure the management of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System is a massive stretch of the facts that ignores the reality of the clear language of the bill, the success of the labor-management pension funds around the nation and the League of Municipalities role in crafting much of the bill as it appears today.

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EDISON – New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Colligan today released the following statement on Governor Christie’s proposal in his Budget Address to dedicate lottery funds to help fund the state’s pension obligation:

“Governor Christie’s proposal today is a good first step for our members.  We recognize that the Budget Address is a launching point for negotiation between the Governor and the Legislature, but we believe the dedication of lottery funds to help meet the State’s pension funding obligation is a start.  We look forward to the state fulfilling its long-standing obligation to fund the PFRS and providing our 33,000 members the pensions they have earned.”

Officer Padilla was shot during the struggle to capture a terrorist responsible for the Chelsea Bombings in September 2016

WOODBRIDGE, NJ – New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (NJSPBA) President Patrick Colligan expressed appreciation for Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s recognition of Linden Police Office Angel Padilla and his support for law enforcement officers that risk their own lives to protect our communities.

Rep. Gottheimer’s first guest as a new representative to the Joint Session of Congress is Officer Angel Padilla, a representative of the New Jersey law enforcement community.

“Congressman Gottheimer has shown an appreciation for the men and women serving as law enforcement officers since the beginning of his campaign for congress.  He had the support of 33,000+ membership during his congressional campaign, and I am encouraged to see him follow-up by publicly demonstrating his support and appreciation for all of us serving in law enforcement,” said NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan.

Following the Chelsea Bombings in September, Officer Padilla was the first law enforcement officer to discover terrorist Ahmad Khan Rahami in Linden, NJ.  During the ensuing firefight, Rahami shot Officer Padilla in the abdomen.

Congressman Gottheimer said, “Officer Padilla reminds us that our law enforcement officers not only protect our communities from criminals and local dangers, but they are on the front lines in our fight against terrorism. Our war on terror is a war fought on multiple fronts, and in Congress, I am committed to supporting our first responders and doing whatever I can to stomp out terror and those who would do harm to the United States. It’s difficult to detect and stop homegrown and lone wolf terrorists who were radicalized in their own apartment here in New Jersey; that’s why the sort of community policing practiced by Officer Padilla and others is critical.”

Officer Padilla said, “I thank Congressman Gottheimer for his support for law enforcement and for his invitation to the Joint Session of Congress. It will be an honor to attend and represent the New Jersey law enforcement community.”

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