TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Ronald L. Rice and Nia H. Gill which would create a 26-member Gangland Security Task Force to examine the activities of adult and youth gangs and the effect that these gangs have on the communities in which they operate, was approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee today.
“After September 11th, the federal government created an office of homeland security to deal with terror, in particular attacks from those living outside this country,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “We also must be protected from a real threat that is going on everyday in our own neighborhoods. The stories about gang involvement in a prescription drug ring in North Jersey demonstrates that the frightening reality of gang-related crime is everywhere.”
“It is time for more innovative approaches in addressing the negative impact of gang activity in our communities,” said Senator Gill, D-Essex and Passaic. “This task force will provide a forum whereby we can obtain an accurate assessment of our gang problem and develop a new strategy for combating gang formation and operation.”
The proposed task force under the Rice/Gill bill would be comprised of police, legislators, counselors, and gang investigators. Together they would study and make recommendations on how to combat gangs in New Jersey. The task force would also work to find a link between gangs and organized crime, Senator Rice added.
“The recent arrests in Northern New Jersey only further reflect the urgency for passing legislation that could reduce the amount of crime activity in our communities,” said Senator Rice. “Gang violence is linked to car theft rings, money laundering, the trade of illegal fire arms, illicit drugs, and as I said earlier — organized crime.”
“In order to save our children and families we must implement progressive programs and new strategies to take back our communities from the gangs. This take force is a step in the right direction,” Senator Gill said.
The bill, S-1110, now heads to the full Assembly for consideration.