NJ Politics Digest: NJ Updates Bias Crime Standards

A police officer in Linden, New Jersey.

A police officer in Linden, New Jersey. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The number of bias incidents reported in New Jersey has been climbing in recent years, and now the state is updating its guidelines for reporting and investigating such crimes. The measures will expand the groups of people who are protected by laws and take steps to better track incidents throughout the state.

FBI statistics show the number of hate crimes reported in the state exploding in recent years, climbing from 367 in 2015, to 417 in 2016 and 495 in 2017, according to the report.

N.J. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced the changes Friday, the first time the standards have been revised since 2000, according to a report by NJ.com. The measures bring the guidelines more in line with state bias laws, which were updated in 2008, the report said.

Protected classes now include when bias incidents are based on gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, or disability, according to The Record. The new guidelines require bias incidents be reported through the State Police’s new Electronic Uniform Crime Reporting system and county prosecutors to notify the attorney general’s office when pursuing bias charges, according to the report.

Quote of the Day: “Where are the advocates as members of the riding public? It’s a shame rail advocates aren’t on the list,” — Len Resto, president of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, on Gov. Phil Murphy’s nominees to the NJ Transit Board of Directors.

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NJ Politics Digest: NJ Updates Bias Crime Standards