Christie Announces New Task Force Aimed at Preventing Violent Crime

NJ SAFE will analyze data from numerous sources to provide recommendations on issues like gun control.

In an effort to address and understand the root causes of violent crimes, and in response to President Barack Obama's recent proposed assault weapon ban, Gov. Chris Christie announced the development of a new task force Thursday afternoon called the NJ SAFE Task Force.

By creating NJ SAFE, Christie said he hopes to take a comprehensive look at where gun control, addiction, mental health, and school safety in New Jersey intersect. While the state has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, Christie said his hope is that the task force will focus on real, common sense measures that could be appropriate for New Jersey moving forward. 

The bipartisan task force is comprised of six members and is being co-chaired by two former New Jersey Attorney Generals, Peter Verniero and John Degnan. The two chairs, along with members, Dr. Manuel Guantez, James Romer, Evelyn Sullivan, and Brian Zychowski, represent experts in the fields of mental health diagnosis and treatment, addiction services and treatment, gun control and law enforcement, and school safety. 

According to a release, the creation of the NJ SAFE Task Force represents a follow through on Christie's public commitment to understand the cause of crime in society, including but not limited to gun crime, ownership and trafficking. The task force is expected to deliver a report containing recommendations to Christie within 60 days.

Obama's gun control plan, announced Wednesday, includes a reinstatement of a lapsed ban on assault weapons, a 10-round limit for gun magazines, and the requirement that all prospective buyers be subject to background checks before they can purchase a gun, among other provisions. 

In the aftermath of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 dead, including 20 children, . When it comes to preventing violence and mass shootings, society needs to address and overcome the stigma of mental health and also consider the portrayal of violence in various forms of media, including video games.

Raven Pozzi January 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM
I hope they look at the effects of prescription drugs.
Winston Smith January 18, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Big pharma IS the reason for most of this, exactly why it will NOT be looked at.
Robert Yates January 18, 2013 at 02:32 PM
So we have 2 attorney generals (whose previous job involved prosecuting violations of NJ's tyrannical gun laws), 1 gun control and law enforcement expert (whose previous job was establishing NJ's tyrannical gun laws and arresting people for violating those same laws), 1 person representing the interests of the mentally ill, and 1 person representing the interests of addicts (Both of these categories being the ones that generally commit these crimes). Who will be representing the interests ordinary people who wish to be able to protect themselves and their families from the aforementioned people (which is the whole purpose that the 2nd Amendment exists) This is a sham panel that will accomplish nothing other than to allow the governor to pretend he is doing something about this problem. The largest constituency - who are the people that will be affected by the assuredly bonehead solutions that the panel comes up with - are not represented. There should be at least 1 if not 2 additional panel members that support the right of NJ citizens to protect themselves and their property. Shame on you Governor for relying on the same failed solutions; that is, more restrictions and less freedom.
mike z January 18, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Thank you mr. Yates. Thanks for articulating what most of us feel but can' t put into words. Forward your post to our congressmen and senators please.
Opinionated January 18, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Their first meeting will be held at a street corner in downtown Camden on Saturday night with one in Newark the following Saturday. Then they can give us a more accurate report on how the tough NJ gun laws really are.Oh yes, no armed guards either.
A Polymath January 18, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Call your local police dept and ask what is required for you to legally buy a gun, then come back with an INFORMED opinion.
Jackie K January 18, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Wake up America. Law abiding citizens are in their sights. Not only will they crush you with taxes they will take away your rights!
Opinionated January 19, 2013 at 01:27 AM
Hey Pollyanna, take out your little dictionary and look up the word "sarcasm". I don't have time to explain things to you. I like how Christie says that gun control isn't the only answer but I wish he would say how he intends to get illegal guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals. The glare of that omission is so glaring that it blinds one to any other arguments.
Jim January 19, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Pass the Castle law and concealed carry. Rep Doherty from Morris County should be on this panel. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Jim January 19, 2013 at 03:32 AM
You are correct and thats a professional opinion.
tom January 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM
You are right. They give out prescription drugs out like candy. It messes with one's body and mental chemistry which alters a person both ways. Some medicines that are given out is not only wrong for that patient, it is not helping the patient and causing all these horrible side effects.
tom January 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Christie, how about putting an idea together for a medical plan for ALL NJ residents. To many are walking around without it. No help in sight. Who can afford medical today? Not many...If it is not given to you through employment or paid by the residents of this state for the cushy local, state, federal jobs they wouldn't be able to afford it either. It is out of reach and this is a direct result of it. There is no one who cares about all these mentally sick challenged individuals walking our streets. Medical and Mental health is needed and should be looked at.
Mike January 19, 2013 at 03:19 PM
The photo at the top of the story tells the entire tale. NJ SAFE has been put together by pols to assure old folks that the state government cares about them. We have seen over & over again that the state does not care about them. More of the same krap; giving more politicans yet another salary that we pay for...with NO results. They keep the old votes secure, and we pay for it. A microcosism of todays world. Don't really do anything...just appear as if your doing something, so that the old folks can pretend something is being done.
tom January 19, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Mike, You hit the nail on the head. You are right. It is not just the old folks they don't care about. It is all the folks. They are only worried about themselves. their political connections and their families.
tom January 19, 2013 at 03:45 PM
By the way, Its all smoke and mirrors and the same old krap. No results, looking like they are doing something and really not I think is catching on. So at least I hope so.
BobDee January 19, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Maybe they will enlist the help "precogs" and then they can predict "precrime" before it happens. o_0
BobDee January 19, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Don't be silly, then they would be getting at the "root" cause of all this violence,,,this way with new "task forces" they can expand the police state and take more of our rights in the name of "saftey" or "it's for the children."
My2cents January 22, 2013 at 07:43 AM
I've never seen such fear, hatred, prejudging, and pessimism among any group of people as I see in you gun-supporters. Get the facts before you spew venom.
Toolman January 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Ok 2cents here is the change you have been waiting for……To the gun-supporters “they are my guns, my bullets and it is My Right to protect my family when the law can’t. Let’s forget the 2nd amendment for a minute Lets say officer 1 spots a suspicious bulge someones pocket pats him down and finds a 22 the first person bought in will be the ACLU reminding the police about the persons 4th amendment rights against illegal search and seize sure and wait let us not forget how the person was profiled because of his ethnic background the fact that he is hanging on the street corner at 3:30 in the morning is not suspicious. Please the goal should be to get the guns away from the criminals and not make criminals out of law abiding responsible gun owners.
AJM January 30, 2013 at 03:36 PM
SPOT ON!!! criminals will always find a way to make/get illegal guns! Leave our 2nd Amendment ALONE! If you dont want a gun...dont buy one! More ppl are murdered in the UK with knives than are ppl in the US by guns.
AJM January 30, 2013 at 03:49 PM
TOOLMAN...I completely agree! The liberals and the left want to violate the constitution unless it suits their needs. Maybe the 2 senators leading the charge should LEAD BY EXAMPLE and give up their UNRESTRICTED CCW permits that allow them to carry anything anywhere they want. It is our right and embedded in every human to protect their family so if the gun haters and left wing liberals and media do not agree maybe its time for them to move to the U.K. or any other place that has disarmed their citizens and left them helpless. Almost every civilization that ultimately disarmed it's citizens has in some way further oppressed them or committed genecide. How about the poor Korean Immigrants in Cal during the riots that protected themselves and their AMERICAN DREAM because they owned AR15's. Or the 15 year old that saved his sister and himself when the 2 slime bags attempted to break into their home. A gun is useless much as a hammer, baseball bat and so in. In the hands of a person hell bent on committing a crime anything can be used as a weapon. What next??? Lets be real and realize that banning is not the solution. Background checks and a federal/national database is a great platform to start with!


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