Today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is preparing to give a State of the State address to New Jerseyans. As of last count, Governor Christie has spent over 250 days outside of his home state campaigning for president. While Christie has been pursuing his political aspirations in New Hampshire and other primary states, the 33,000+ members of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (NJSPBA) wanted to take an opportunity to “Tell It Like It Is.”
NJSPBA President Pat Colligan released the following letter to New Hampshire Law Enforcement today:
AN OPEN LETTER TO NEW HAMPSHIRE LAW ENFORCEMENT
Dear Fellow Law Enforcement Officers:
As the President of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association I am writing on behalf of our 33,000 members after hearing of Chris Christie’s political strategy to gain your support in New Hampshire. We feel it is critically important that you know exactly what kind of Governor Christie has been back home in New Jersey and hope that you will give us a moment of your time before coming to any endorsement conclusions.
The fact is that New Jersey’s law enforcement community has been weakened and demoralized since Chris Christie became Governor in 2010. Under his leadership, staffing levels plummeted across the State as layoffs were forced upon towns by severe cuts to local government funding along with a tax cap that had no exclusions for public safety. Many cities are still trying to recover from the massive law enforcement layoffs that the Governor forced upon them.
The men and women of the state, county, and local departments I represent are held to the highest standards of integrity, honesty and professionalism. Sadly, the Governor’s service to our members has never lived up to those same standards. For example, as a candidate in 2009, Chris Christie wrote an “open letter” to our members that called pensions a “sacred trust” and included a promise to never cut benefits. That letter was a lie and, within months of being sworn into office, he did not hesitate to break that promise.
Then, after increasing the pension contributions deducted directly from individual police officer pay checks, Christie diverted our increased pension contributions to offset other spending in the State Budget. He called it “property tax relief.” As you know, when one person takes money promised by law for one reason and uses it for something completely different, we call it fraud.
While Governor Christie has recently taken to proclaiming himself the law enforcement candidate in the Republican Primary, our membership would be the first to tell you the truth is quite the opposite. Simply put, Chris Christie has failed to live up to his word and his actions have undermined law enforcement in New Jersey at every turn. Please don’t be taken in by the smoke and mirrors of Chris Christie’s finely crafted political stage performance. While he is a tremendous politician and performer, he is also a terrible governor.
Thank you for your attention to our concerns and please contact me if you want any further details or insight on our experiences in New Jersey.
Pat Colligan, State President