SENATE, No. 1678

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 11, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  RONALD L. RICE

District 28 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes a permanent Gang Land Security Task Force.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act establishing a permanent Gang Land Security Task Force.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  There is established a permanent Gang Land Security Task Force.  The task force shall consist of 26 members, to be appointed as follows:

     a.     Sixteen members by the Governor, as follows:

     (1)   A representative of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation;

     (2)   A representative from one of the State's county prosecutor's offices;

     (3)   A representative from one of the State's county sheriff's offices;

     (4)   Two representatives from the New Jersey County Jail Wardens’ Association, at least one of whom shall have experience in adult corrections and at least one with experience in juvenile corrections;

     (5)   A representative from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police;

     (6)   A member with training and experience in substance abuse counseling;

     (7)   A member with training and experience in family and youth counseling;

     (8)   A medical professional with expertise in the psychology of aggressive behavior;

     (9)   Two representatives from community and faith based organizations located within cities identified by law enforcement officials as having significant gang-related activity;

     (10) Two representatives of the general public who are between the ages of 18 and 25 years, who reside in cities identified by law enforcement officials as having significant gang-related activity;

     (11) A representative from the Drug Policy Alliance;

     (12) A representative of the Police Institute of Rutgers University; and

     (13) A representative of the New Jersey Chapter of the East Coast Gang Investigator's Association;

     b.    The Superintendent of State Police, ex-officio, or his designee;

     c.     The Commissioner of Corrections, ex-officio, or his designee;

     d.    The Commissioner of  Human Services, ex-officio, or his designee;

     e.     The Commissioner of Education, ex-officio, or his designee;

     f.     Two members of the Senate, appointed by the President of the Senate, no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party;


     g.     Two members of the General Assembly, appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly, no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party;

     h.     The Attorney General, ex-officio, or his designee; and

     i.      The Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission, ex-officio, or his designee.

 

     2.    a.  The members shall be appointed within three months of enactment.  To the greatest extent practicable, the members shall have, by education or experience, knowledge of gang activities in this State or law enforcement efforts to limit gang activity.

     b.    The legislative members shall serve for terms coextensive with their respective terms as members of the House of the Legislature from which they are appointed.

     c.     The public members shall serve for a term of four years except that four of the initial appointments shall be for a term of three years, four of the initial appointments shall be for a term of two years, and four of the initial appointments shall be for a term of one year.

     d.    Members shall be eligible for reappointment to the task force and any vacancy in the membership of the task force shall be filled by appointment in the same manner as the original appointment was made.

     e.     The task force shall organize as soon as possible after the appointments of its members and shall meet at least four times a year.

     f.     The New Jersey State Attorney General, or a designee, shall serve as the chair of the task force and shall appoint a secretary, who need not be a member of the task force.  The members shall select a vice chair from among them.

 

     3.    The task force shall focus on adult and youth gangs identified as having a presence in this State and shall examine their activities and the effect on the communities in which they operate. In conducting its research the task force shall, but is not limited to:

     a.     Invite the following individuals to attend the meetings of the task force and request their participation and assistance in its deliberations and the formation of its findings and recommendations in accordance with the provisions of section 6 of this act:

     (1)   United States Attorney General, or a designee;

     (2)   The Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or a designee;

     (3)   The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the New Jersey special agent in charge as a designee;

     (4)   The Director of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or the New Jersey special agent in charge as a designee; and

     (5)   The Administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement
Administration, or the New Jersey special agent in charge as a designee;

     b.    Study intelligence gathering methods currently being used by law enforcement agencies throughout the State in dealing with gangs to determine the level of their effectiveness and research new intelligence methods which could be used to help these agencies develop a stronger understanding of gang activity in communities and within the State's correctional and youth detention facilities;

     c.     Research the conditions that tend to foster the formation and operation of gangs in communities and methods of preventing them from taking hold and operating in neighborhoods in this State; and

     d.    Consider the advantages and drawbacks of establishing an office of gang land security within the Department of Law and Public Safety, which should take into account, but not be limited to, the following factors:

     (1)   The impact of gangs and their activities on the State and its communities, and the benefits which would be realized if this activity were reduced.  This analysis should include, but not be limited to, the impact on general public safety and the local and State economies; and

     (2)   The anticipated cost of creating and operating this office.

 

     4.    The task force shall be entitled to call to its assistance and shall avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes.  The task force shall further be entitled to employ counsel and stenographic and clerical assistance and incur traveling and other miscellaneous expenses as it may deem necessary to perform its duties, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available for its purposes.

 

     5.    The task force may conduct public hearings in furtherance of its general purposes at such place or places as it shall designate, at which it may request the appearance of officials or any federal, State, or interstate department, board, bureau, commission, agency, or authority and solicit the testimony or interested groups and the general public.

 

     6.    On or before December 15th of each year, the task force shall file with the Governor and the Legislature a report containing its findings and recommendations concerning the:

     a.     Development of intelligence gathering methods with respect to gangs and their activities, including but not limited to the:

     (1)   Role of gangs in:

     (a)   Car theft rings and other fencing operations;

     (b)   Money laundering; and

     (c)   The trade of illegal firearms, illicit drugs, and other
controlled substances;

     (2)   Relationships between gang members and:

     (a)   Probationers, inmates, and parolees;

     (b)   Other criminal organizations; and

     (c)   Suppliers of illegal firearms, illicit drugs, and other controlled substances; and

     (3)   The points of entry and methods used to transport illegal firearms, illicit drugs, and other controlled substances into New Jersey;

     b.    Prevention of gangs from establishing themselves in or continuing to operate in this State; and

     c.     Facilitation of productive re-integration into society from incarceration or supervision of current, former and potential gang members

 

     7.    The members of the task force shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.  Any reimbursement of members shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to or otherwise made available to the task force for its purposes.

 

     8.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would establish a permanent Gang Land Security Task Force to examine the activities of adult and youth gangs identified as having a presence in this State and the effect these gangs have on the communities in which they operate.

     The task force is to consist of the following 26 members:

·        The Attorney General, the Superintendent of State Police, the Commissioner of Corrections, the Commissioner of Human Services, the Commissioner of Education and the Executive Director of the  Juvenile Justice Commission, or their designees;

·        Two members of the Senate and two members of the General Assembly;

·        One member with training and experience in substance abuse counseling;

·        One member with training and experience in family and youth counseling;

·        A medical professional with expertise in the psychology of aggressive behavior;

·        Two representatives from the New Jersey County Jail Wardens’ Association, two from community and faith based organizations, and two from the general public who are between the ages of 18 and 25 years; and

·        One representative each from the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation, the county prosecutor's offices, the county sheriff's offices, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Police Institute of Rutgers University and the New Jersey Chapter of the East Coast Gang Investigator's Association.

     The task force is to invite various federal officials to attend its meetings and participate in forming its recommendations, study the effectiveness of intelligence gathering methods, research the conditions which foster the formation and operation of gangs, and consider the advantages and drawbacks of establishing an office of gang land security.

     The bill requires the task force to report to the Governor and the Legislature on or before December 15th of each year.  The report is to contain its findings and recommendations concerning the development of intelligence gathering methods with respect to gangs and their activities; the prevention of gangs from establishing themselves in or continuing to operate in this State; and the facilitation of productive re-integration into society from incarceration or supervision of current, former and potential gang members.

     This permanent Gang Land Security Task Force would continue the work of the temporary Gang Land Security Task Force that was established by P.L.2005, c.107 and which expired when it issued its final report in January 2007.