News


State PBA President Pat Colligan and Executive Vice President Marc Kovar today joined NAPO leaders from around the United States at the White House to meet with President Trump and Vice President Pence to discuss combatting the national anti-police sentiment and to announce NAPO’s endorsement of the President’s re-election.

NAPO recently voted to endorse the President after backing former Vice President Biden in 2008 and 2012.  President Trump has frequently spoken out in favor of the nation’s law enforcement officers and he has been especially supportive recently as some public officials have spoken out against and threatened to defund law enforcement.  

President Colligan and Executive Vice President Kovar both spoke to the President during the meeting with NAPO leaders to express the disappointment of the State PBA in those officials that criticize law enforcement officers while ignoring the outbreak of lawlessness and murder that has spread across the nation.

Executive Vice President Kovar, who serves as a NAPO elected officer, told the President: “Too many elected officials have let us down despite the fact that New Jersey officers do their job professionally and with less need for force than officers in nearly every other State.”

President Colligan has been outspoken that the public campaign against the police is not only bad for morale and officer safety but the effort to limit the powers and response of the police is empowering a dangerous criminal element in too many places.

The meeting at the White House was also attended by PBA and NAPO leaders from New York, Florida, Massachusetts and Texas as well.  The President once again reiterated his support for the law enforcement community and pledged to continue to fight to keep officers and our communities safe. 

View Official Announcement Here

The State PBA has for decades fought to make New Jersey’s law enforcement officers the most professional and best trained in the nation.  While we too are angered when police officers abuse their power, we also believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally under the law.  Police officers especially.  Unfortunately, the Attorney General’s “Major Discipline” Directive does not treat every officer equally. 

While the term “major discipline” sounds like an officer has severely violated the public trust, in reality police officer discipline wildly differs from town to town.  Major discipline in some places could be handed down for a uniform violation.  The Attorney General’s Directive is far too broad and it treats all officers unequally.  While we have pledged to work with the Attorney General on enhancing our profession this new policy does not recognize those arbitrary differences.  The Policy is going to smear officers unfairly who have not violated the public trust and I would respectfully suggest it needs to go back to the drawing board.

I have directed Legal Counsel for the State PBA to review the policy to ensure that officer rights are protected.

View Official Statement Here

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

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