As reported on Senatenj.com, the New Jersey State Senate passed legislation sponsored by Diane Allen and Christopher Bateman to increase penalties for assaulting a corrections officer, sheriff’s officer, and other law enforcement personnel because of their job status. “These law enforcement officers have some of the most difficult and dangerous jobs that there are,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “Unfortunately, the risk carries over into their personal lives as we were made aware of an instance where a corrections officer was assaulted by a former inmate out in public.”
Under the legislation, S 2583, the charge of simple assault would be upgraded to aggravated assault if the act was committed against the following individuals because of their job status: 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 Sheriff, Undersheriff, or Sheriff’s Officer. Currently, simple assault is upgraded to aggravated assault only if the act occurs while the officer is engaged in their work duties. S 2583 is consistent with state law upgrading simple assault to aggravated assault against a police officer because of his or her status as an officer.
“Sadly we have seen that sometimes police and other law enforcement officers are targeted and attacked because of their profession,” Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer) said. “The vast majority of these men and women in uniform are honest and dedicated public servants and it’s important that we take this step to protect them from violent attacks.”
Please continue to check this blog periodically to ascertain updates regarding this bill.