Senate President Steve Sweeney today named Senator Peter J. Barnes III as Vice Chairman of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. Senator Barnes will replace Senator Linda R. Greenstein, who was recently promoted to chair the Senate Committee.
“Peter Barnes possesses a wealth of knowledge and integrity that will serve him well as vice chairman of the committee,” said Senator Sweeney. “He is thoughtful, thorough and always exercises good judgment. He knows the law and he understands the importance of public safety in communities throughout the state. The Senate committee and the State of New Jersey will benefit from his service.”
“I am truly honored to serve as the Vice Chair of this important committee tasked with ensuring the safety of New Jersey’s public,” said Senator Barnes. “Residents throughout the US are concerned with the safety of civilians and the integrity of our judicial system. Members of our law enforcement agencies need our support to effectively protect our citizens. I look forward to tackling these broad issues.”
After an investigation by The Star-Ledger that showed misconduct by members of the Edison Police Department, Senator Barnes introduced legislation that would relocate the Edison Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division to the state Attorney General’s office. Concerned that police officers may be unable to objectively review and investigate their colleagues, Senator Barnes believes this legislation will help remove conflicts of interest by physically removing the oversight body of the department.
An attorney by trade, Senator Barnes has a clear understanding of issues related to the law in New Jersey. Additionally, he comes from a family deeply committed to public safety. Senator Barnes’ father, Peter Barnes Jr. was a military police officer, an FBI agent, Director of Public Safety for both Edison and East BrunswickTownships and Chair of the State Parole Board. Senator Barnes’ brother is a former Hunterdon County prosecutor.
Senator Barnes represents the 18th Legislative District, which is comprised of East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Highland Park, Metuchen, South Plainfield and South River in Middlesex County.