Policing, Law Enforcement & Public Safety
As a young police officer, I was instrumental in establishing the Egg Harbor Township Police Athletic League, an organization created to promote a positive relationship between our officers, youth, and the community. Over the last 32 years, our organization has served more than 30,000 children and their families from the South Jersey area. Today, the organization is called the Police Activities League of Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic County to better reflect our growth and the community we serve. As Executive Director, I am proud to say we continue to promote and create positive relations in the communities we serve. As your congressman, I will support similar organizations and the construction and development of community centers across South Jersey.
I will support police and justice reform. During my 25 years of service from patrolman to the time I retired as a police captain, I was on the frontlines leading the fight to improve policing. Let me be crystal clear: we will not defund the police. I will support my brothers and sisters in law enforcement. We will provide them with the resources they need to better protect and serve all people with honor and respect. As a former police officer, I’ve already worked to effect change right here in South Jersey and now I want to take that work to Congress where I can lead the effort to reform policing across the nation.
As a retired police captain, I’ve served in nearly every area of an accredited law enforcement agency, including accreditation manager, the office of professional responsibility, and internal affairs. I can tell you, no one hates a bad cop more than a good cop. The 2nd Congressional District has some of the finest law enforcement agencies in the country. That is not to say there aren’t things we need and must improve. Good officers and good law enforcement agencies deserve and need our respect and support.
I will write legislation that will provide funding for police agencies that adopt and practice proactive, community and problem-solving oriented policing. Legislation that provides funding for police agencies that adopt professional standards of hiring and promotions, that require the investigation and appropriate action of reported acts of misconduct, and provides funding for officers’ body cameras. We will provide funding for professionally staffed and state-run police academies for basic training and professional career development. Additionally, the legislation will provide funding to professionally run police departments to replace bad cops and those not suited to the high demands of law enforcement.
We must also support and fund those that are often the first contact with a public in crisis, our Emergency Communication Officers. Often neglected, underpaid, and underappreciated, our ECOs are the first step in a call going right or going horribly wrong. We must recruit, compensate, and train the best of the best to serve this vital role and treat them with the respect they deserve.
Lastly, I will fight to maintain Qualified Immunity for public officials, elected representatives and our first responders. While in need of some reform, Qualified Immunity protects our society from a tidal wave of lawsuits that will paralyze our government, cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and destroy our democracy. The only people who stand to benefit from removing Qualified Immunity are attorneys who will file lawsuit after lawsuit knowing that they will get paid . . . win, lose, or draw. Let’s fix the problem, not create greater ones.