News


It is with deep regret I have to announce the passing of Pablo Santiago, President of the Mercer County Sheriffs Department PBA and great friend to many of us locally and throughout the entire state. Pablo will be sorely missed. Check back for further updates.

A story today from NJ Advance Media (nj.com) 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 nj.com. 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.

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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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