Trenton – To help protect the safety and security of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers, Governor Murphy today signed into law a bill sponsored by Senator Joe Cryan, Senator Nick Scutari, Senator Nellie Pou and Senator Bob Smith that would keep their home addresses and phone numbers from public disclosure.
The senators acted in response to the fatal attack targeting a federal judge in New Jersey. Daniel Anderl, the 20-year-old son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, was shot and killed when he opened the front door of the family’s home to an armed assailant who was able to locate the residence by accessing their address.
“This law will honor the legacy of Daniel Anderl and respect the loving memories of his family,” said Senator Cryan (D-Union), a former Union County Sheriff who oversaw courthouse security in Union County. “This was a tragic act of violence targeted at a respected judge and her family because the gunman was able to locate their home address. It was also an attack on the justice system that was felt by everyone who serves or has served in law enforcement. They devote their lives to the safety of the public – they should be kept safe as well.”
Judge Salas called for measures to better protect judges as a means of honoring her son. The legislation is entitled “Daniel’s Law,” in his memory.
The law, S-2797, will prohibit the disclosure of the home addresses of current or retired federal, state, and municipal judicial officers, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, their spouses and their children.
“We must act to protect our public officials and their families from potential attacks. The targeting of Judge Salas at her private residence by a gunman, resulting in the tragic death of her son and the serious wounding of her husband, underscores the need for us to do more to protect our judges and their families,” said Senator Scutari (D-Union), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Domestic terrorism is a very real threat in today’s society. Not long ago, a gunman attempted to take the life of then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, another gunman opened fire at a congressional softball game and, most recently, there was the foiled plot to kidnap and murder the governor of Michigan. This is a vital first step in ensuring the safety of our public officials in New Jersey.”
“Judges and other court officers who serve our legal system deserve to be protected from any possible attack or retaliation for merely performing their sworn duties. What happened to Judge Esther Salas, and her family, and in particular the fatal shooting of her son, Daniel, in his own home, must never happen again,” said Senator Pou (D- Bergen/Passaic). “This law, restricting access to home addresses of judges and others who work in our court system will add a needed layer of protection for these public servants.”
“As a representative and resident from Middlesex County, I was shocked, heartbroken and angered by the home attack on Judge Salas and her family, which left her husband critically wounded and ended in the death of her son, Daniel,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “The Salas family are among my constituents, so it is important for me that I am a part of any action we take in response to this horrific incident. We have to do more to protect our judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers from violent retaliation, especially in a time when people are actually planning physical violence against civil servants.”