New Jersey Must OK Out-Of-State Police
Authorities in New Jersey would have be be properly notified by out-of-state law enforcement of intended counter-terrorism investigations in the state under a bill that's been signed into law.
"No doubt we must protect our country against the threat of terrorism, but not at the expense of civil liberties. The Attorney General's review into the NYPD surveillance operation found no laws were broken, but a line was definitely crossed. This law will dictate that surveillance in our backyard by other states, without our knowledge and adequate justification, cannot happen again," said Assemblyman Charles Mainor, co-sponsor of the measure.
The legislation was introduced after last year's controversy surrounding the secret surveillance of Muslim businesses, mosques and student groups in New Jersey by the New York Police Department. The unit has since ceased operation in the Garden State.
"It's troubling how the people responsible for the safety of our residents were kept in the dark about this. It's not only a matter of respect and good will between law enforcement agencies, but a matter of public safety," said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, a co-sponsor of the bill. "We support all efforts to quell terrorism, but we must also make sure that the rights and well-being of our residents are not jeopardized in the process. The new law will help us do that."
Under the law, out-of-state law enforcement officials will be required to inform the prosecutor of the county, where they intend to conduct counter-terrorism activities, of their intentions 24 hours prior to entering the county. Notification should include the purpose and scope of the activity.
The law also sets up guidelines that New Jersey law enforcement agencies or officers need to follow upon learning of counter-terrorism activities being conducted.