For Immediate Release – January 17, 2023
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Mayor Tony Perry and the Middletown Township Committee, along with Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone, Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, and a bipartisan group of local mayors held a press conference this morning to announce “Safe Streets NJ”, a public campaign created for New Jersey residents to allow their voices to be heard about the auto theft wave that has struck communities across the state. Concerned citizens can sign a petition demanding state legislators revise current bail reform policies and institute stricter legal consequences.
“Our judicial system has been hamstrung by policies and policymakers that result in no consequences for illegal behavior,” said Mayor Tony Perry. “Are we a nation of laws or a nation of chaos? Trenton should amend their failed bail reform policies before tragedy strikes.”
Additionally, Mayor Perry announced that Middletown Township will be filing a complaint against the State of New Jersey with the Council on Local Mandates to pay for the extra patrols in targeted areas to help keep residents safe. The need for additional law enforcement and increased technology is essential, but it is costing Middletown taxpayers money, according to Mayor Perry. “It’s also costing us the ability to invest more in paving roadways, maintaining our parks, and preserving open space since the funds need to be reallocated,” said Mayor Perry. “You can’t put a price tag on public safety, but it should come at the cost of the state. This is their disaster of the law — fix it or pay for it.”
Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas Arnone acknowledged support for Middletown’s complaint and stated Monmouth County’s intention to join this fight to restore peace on the streets for our towns in Monmouth County and across the state.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden then pointed out some alarming statistics. In 2017 bail reform was enacted and Monmouth County saw fewer than 140 vehicle thefts per year. That number has increased incrementally by over 100 each year. Last year, over 600 vehicles in Monmouth County were stolen, so you can’t ignore the statistics, stated Sheriff Golden. “This data is evidence that change is needed in our legislative system so we do not continue to release criminals into our communities,” said Sheriff Golden. “It shouldn’t take local ordinances to try to curtail a statewide problem. This takes action on the state level.”
Community members are encouraged to visit www.safestreetsnj.com to sign the petition to stand up to Trenton lawmakers and allow their voices to be heard. “Trenton, the ball is in your court,” said Mayor Perry. “Let’s restore security for our families and create those safe streets once again.”
Photo caption: Mayor Tony Perry, local, county & state elected officials, and MTPD officers joined forces to announce the “Safe Streets NJ” public campaign to address statewide auto thefts.