TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Brian Bergen is blasting the state attorney general’s revised vehicular pursuit policy that went into effect at the end of last year for increasing car theft and hindering law enforcement’s ability to apprehend criminals.
“Criminals are stealing cars to hide their identity as they commit other offenses and now cops can’t pursue a possible stolen vehicle. It’s ridiculous and irresponsible,” Bergen (R-Morris) said. “I support our police and demand that the administration start treating them like the professionals they are and stop handcuffing them at every turn.”
The updated policy limits police car chases to the most serious crimes as part of an overhaul of police use of force. Law enforcement are no longer permitted to continue a chase because of the suspect’s speed or evasive driving.
“When is our governor going to start focusing on public safety and put to bed his absurd political agendas? The local chiefs, rank and file police officers, and ultimately the innocent people of New Jersey are the victims of the horrific policy decisions implemented by the attorney general at the direction of the governor,” Bergen continued.
According to news reports, high-end vehicle theft is on the rise. From 2018 through the end of 2021, nearly 900 vehicles have been stolen in Morris County alone. Law enforcement officials say when cars are recovered, they are riddled with bullets, burned, or contain other evidence of being used in violent crimes.
“The new Attorney General Matt Platkin should immediately roll back these politically-motivated and completely nonsensical policies. Time to see if this attorney general is interested in public safety or politics and this is his first test,” Bergen said.
The assemblyman urged Gov. Phil Murphy and the attorney general to shift their focus to supporting law enforcement.
“Need ideas on how to improve policing in New Jersey? I have them. Invest heavily in training our officers, provide resources and let them do their jobs,” Bergen said. “When the few bad apples occasionally expose themselves, throw the book at them, but empower the 99% to protect and serve.”