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Penalties increased for attacks on NJ corrections, sheriff’s officers

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

PUBLIC SAFETY: Legislation increasing penalties for assaulting a New Jersey corrections officer, sheriff’s officer and other member of law enforcement because of his or her job status was signed into law yesterday by Gov. Chris Christie.

Simple assault charges will be upgraded to aggravated assault when it involves state 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 sheriffs, undersheriffs, or sheriff’s officers doing their jobs.

“Sadly we’ve seen that sometimes police and other law enforcement officers are targeted and attacked because of their profession,” said state Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman to (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer).

“The vast majority of these men and women in uniform are honest and dedicated public servants, Bateman said, adding that the new law is “an important step to protect these officers from violent attacks in public.”

“These law enforcement officers have some of the most difficult and dangerous jobs that there are,” added state Sen. Diane 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.”

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