Van Drew Bill Retitling Corrections Officers as ‘State Correctional Police Officers’ Now Law : News Room : The Van Drew Team for Change : Jeff Van Drew, Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land

May 26, 2019 by No Comments



Van Drew Bill Retitling Corrections Officers as ‘State Correctional Police Officers’ Now Law

Tags: State Preparedness

Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew creating a new title for New Jersey’s state corrections officers, who will be known as State Correctional Police Officers, is now law.

“Corrections officers put their lives on the line every day in our correctional facilities. These men and women are also expected to react if a crime is committed or an emergency occurs outside of the facility in which they work, and in fact corrections officers were among those who were deployed in response to the 9/11 terror attacks,” said Senator Van Drew (Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic). “They deserve the respect and dignity to not only be treated as officers, but also for their professional titles to reflect their responsibilities. This law will provide for that.”

The law (S-1651) will direct the Civil Service Commission to retitle the positions of State correction officers to State correctional police officers. The title changes provided in the law will  apply to all corrections officers employed by the New Jersey Department of Corrections and the Juvenile Justice Commission. The law also clarifies the law enforcement powers that are already held by State corrections officers.

Although State corrections officers have general police powers, the correction officer title has often led the general public to narrowly view these officers as prison guards rather than law enforcement officers. In fact, State correction officers were deployed to Ground Zero, Liberty State Park, Newark Liberty international Airport, and several other critical locations in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As State-designated first responders, these corrections officers will be assigned to such outside operations in the event of any further public emergencies or natural disasters.

The law takes effect on the first day of the fourth month following enactment.