TRENTON – Legislation that would enable police and prosecutors to apply for a restraining order against a person charged with a crime but released without being detained was signed into law Friday.
The law, which revises the Drug Offender Restraining Order Act, will give law enforcement officers the ability to prevent an individual from returning to the scene where an offense occurred, while also creating a buffer around the area.
The sponsors of the law, Assemblymen Angel Fuentes, and Gilbert L. “Whip” Wilson, and Sen. Donald Norcross, all (D-5) of Woodbury, praised the passage of the law.
“It is too easy for individuals being charged with a crime, particularly crimes related to drugs and drug violence, to return to the same places and people that facilitate this behavior,” Fuentes said in a statement. “If we want to stop a drug dealer from harming our community, we cannot just work to take away their product. We must also be able to take away the street corner, the school yard and the store front where they push their poison on our children and our vulnerable citizens. And with this new law, we can do just that.”
“This is a needed change,” Wilson said in a statement. “A drug dealer needs access to users, and by denying them their usual haunts and removing them from their comfort zone, we force them into the light and send a message that we won’t tolerate the evil they bring to our neighborhoods. We won’t stand idly by.”
“This measure gives law enforcement the tools they need to keep our streets clean,” Norcross said in the release. “Drug dealers don’t care about the communities they harm, the lives they ruin, and the violence they bring to our neighborhoods. Every street corner we take away from a drug dealer is a street corner we reclaim for honest, hardworking citizens.”