TRENTON – The Senate today approved a bill, S-856, sponsored by Senator John A. Girgenti to subject those who pose as police officers while committing a crime to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The vote was 38-0 and the bill was forwarded to the Assembly.
“Posing as a police officer and then committing a crime can be the ultimate betrayal of trust against a person,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Passaic and Bergen. “It deserves a stiff penalty.”
Senator Girgenti said the measure is a response to the increased incidence of those who stop drivers on highways, flash a fake badge and then assault their victims.
“It’s despicable behavior to impersonate a police officer because it destroys the sense of security citizens should have in community protection,” Senator Girgenti said.
Under current law, impersonating a police officer carries only a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, Senator Girgenti said.
“There’s considerable more likelihood of significant incarceration under this new proposal,” Senator Girgenti said. “If a phony cop so much as touches a driver, there’s likely to be a hefty jail time in the sentence.”
The measure now goes to the Assembly for consideration.\