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  • NJ A2008
  • Permits municipality to enact ordinance to curb gang related loitering and criminal activity.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill permits municipalities to enact ordinances allowing police departments to curb gang loitering. The bill defines a "criminal street gang" as an ongoing organization, association in fact or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, having as one of its substantial activities the commission of one or more of the criminal acts enumerated in the bill, and whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity. The enumerated offenses are violent crimes for which a convicted person would be required to serve 85% of the sentence imposed before being eligible for parole. Subject to guidelines of the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality, the bill provides that a municipality may enact an ordinance permitting a law enforcement officer who observes a member of a criminal street gang engaged in gang loitering to (1) inform such persons that they are engaged in gang loitering within an area in which loitering by groups of criminal street gang members is prohibited; (2) order such persons to disperse and remove themselves from within sight and hearing of the place at which the order was issued; and (3) inform those persons that they will be subject to arrest if they fail to obey the order promptly or engage in further gang loitering within sight or hearing of the place at which the order was issued during the following three hours. The ordinance must further provide that the chief law enforcement officer of a municipality shall designate, by written directive, areas of the municipality in which he has determined that enforcement of such an ordinance is necessary, because gang loitering has enabled criminal street gangs to establish control over identifiable areas, to intimidate others from entering those areas, or to conceal illegal activities. Prior to making this determination, the chief law enforcement officer is required to consult appropriate persons who are knowledgeable about the effects of gang activity in areas in which the ordinance may be enforced. These persons may include, but need not be limited to, members of the law enforcement agency with training or experience related to criminal street gangs; other personnel of that department with particular knowledge of gang activities in the proposed designated area; elected officials; the county prosecutor; and community based organizations. The chief law enforcement officer also is required to periodically review and revise these designations as required. Finally, the order must provide that any person who fails to obey promptly an order issued under the ordinance or who engages in further gang loitering within sight or hearing of the place at which such an order was issued during the following three hour period is a disorderly person. In addition, the violators are required to perform community service for a period of 30 days. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by a mandatory minimum period of imprisonment of at least 15 days.
Law and Public Safety
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified