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NJ Correctional Officers Union Fights Governor Murphy’s Vaccine Mandate

New Jersey

On Monday, the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association acting on behalf of twenty-eight (28) of its Local Unions requested permission from the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey to file an application for a restraining order forbidding Governor Murphy's Executive Order #283 which mandates that all State and County Correctional Police Officers be vaccinated against COVID-19 and "up to date" with all recommended "booster" doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

PBA officials said Governor Murphy's mandate comes on the heels of the State experiencing a significant decline in the number of positive COVID cases as well as witnessing the transmission rate of the virus decreased to below 1.0 for the seventh straight day in a row.

PBA State President Pat Colligan, whose Association represents well over 30,000 sworn law enforcement officers in the State of New Jersey, has indicated that members are having a difficult time understanding what is driving this particular mandate at this time:

"Before Governor Murphy enacted this Executive Order, each and every Correctional Police Department in the State of New Jersey had an extremely vigilant COVID 19 testing policy in place that covered every County Jail and State Prison.

It is my understanding that unvaccinated officers and, in some cases, even the vaccinated officers were being tested once, if not twice weekly, for the virus.

My members have told me that the testing policies were working well in keeping the prisons and jails as safe as possible.

This mandate is extreme and unnecessary in light of the testing policies that were in place and working."

William Sullivan, President of PBA Local # 105, the State PBA's largest Local that represents over 5,000 State Correctional Police Officers, said he vehemently opposes this mandate.

"Testing was and still is working, especially in light of the fact that we had close to an equal number of positive cases derived from officers that were fully vaccinated as compared to those that were unvaccinated.

Governor Murphy stated in his press conference that EO # 283 was enacted to stop the transmission of Omicron.

However, I believe everyone agrees that the science and statistics have demonstrated that the vaccines have been ineffective in stopping the transmission of this variant."

The law firm of Crivelli, Barbati and DeRose, L.L.C. is representing the State PBA and the Local Unions, whose numbers are over 11,000 officers substantial.

When asked for comment, Frank M. Crivelli stated:

"I recognize that people have many different opinions in regard to the COVID-19 vaccinations.

Needless to say, many believe in them, and many do not. No matter if you believe in the efficacy of this vaccination or not, no one can contradict the fact that the issuance of this executive order strikes against individual freedom; and, if it is upheld by the Court, it begs the question of whether or not this governmental intrusion and control of one's personal liberty has an endpoint."