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Lagana, Sarlo Applaud AG’s Revised Directive Allowing Safe Pursuit of Car Theft Suspects

TRENTON – In response to Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin’s action of updating vehicular pursuit policy of car-theft suspects, Senator Joe Lagana and Senator Paul Sarlo issued the following statement in support of the change:

“We applaud Attorney General Platkin for recognizing recent crime trends across New Jersey, and for issuing his directive to law enforcement at all levels that will allow them to conduct practical, safe, effective pursuits of criminals who are stealing vehicles out of Bergen County and every other county in the State.”

“These changes, which we called for in a letter to the attorney general on March 24 after receiving numerous complaints from law enforcement that the December 2020 directive concerning pursuits, though well-intended, had effectively tied officers’ hands in allowing them to properly do their jobs. This revision of that policy is a timely change, and will be welcome to those in the rank-and-file who serve and protect our communities.”  

State police data show that car theft reports in New Jersey are surging again in 2022, as much as 37% higher than at the same time in 2021. According to the Attorney General’s Office, last year there were 14,320 reports of stolen vehicles, a 22% increase over 2020 cases.

Senator Sarlo, Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, will pursue further discussion of this issue and policy when Attorney General Platkin testifies before the committee on Tuesday, May 3.