🚨 New Jersey legislator pushing an anti-crime plan to stop carjackings, pop-up parties

🚨 He says the time has come to crack down on criminal behavior in NJ

🚨 One bill would let family-friendly towns create marijuana-free zones

A New Jersey legislator is pressing ahead with a plan to impose tougher penalties for people who break the law.

State Sen. Michael Testa, R-Cumberland, said he’s introduced a multi-bill anti-crime package because since bail reform was enacted in the Garden State six years ago we have people getting out of prison far too early.

“We also see people who are being arrested multiple times and due to an algorithm are being let out despite the fact that they are on an ongoing crime spree,” he said.

“The lawlessness I have seen play out in South Jersey and elsewhere is shocking," he said. “This is not a partisan issue; it’s one that touches every one of us in our communities one way or another."

Steal a car, go to jail

Testa said proposed measure S3616 calls for people charged with stealing a car to be detained prior to trial and mandatory sentencing for theft of a car or truck.

“Everyone who’s been paying attention to the news in the state of New Jersey has seen an uptick in motor vehicle theft and carjackings.”

He said the time has come to let people know “if you’re going to engage in an auto theft ring, guess what, odds are you’re going to be held pending trial.”

djedzura GettyImages
djedzura GettyImages


Kids walking through clouds of marijuana

Another measure, S3622, would let towns create alcohol and cannabis-free zones if they want to.

“When people are trying to enjoy family-friendly towns at the shore, at the beach, when they’re walking on the boardwalk there are clouds of marijuana smoke," he said. "I don’t think that creates a family-friendly environment.”

He said pot smoking in public has become a problem down the Shore and “young children shouldn’t have to be walking through clouds of marijuana smoke."

Annual Marijuana "Holiday" 4/20 Celebrated In San Francisco
Getty Images

Controlling pop-up parties

A separate bill would let the state provide assistance to help towns if a so-called pop-up party breaks out.

“That is unacceptable, it’s complete chaos and anarchy to have events like that,” said Testa.

Other measures in the legislative package include:

S3620 creates deadlines for publishing crime data and an annual report by the Attorney General's Office.

S3623 removes a five-year prohibition on municipalities adopting ordinances or regulations related to the cannabis industry

S3398 permits the designation of special event zones for traffic regulation purposes during certain large events as a result of the deadly unsanctioned H2Oi car rally in Wildwood in September, which killed two people and injured several others


David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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