Gov. Phil Murphy has snagged an endorsement from the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association for the second time.
“Police relations with the communities we serve are at their lowest ebb in decades,” said PAPBA president Paul Nunziato. “That needs to change. We stand behind Governor Murphy because we believe his strong leadership will facilitate the open and candid dialogue necessary between police and the public and make all of our communities safer.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police union is one of the largest law enforcement locals in the New Jersey State PBA, but under a longtime exception, is permitted to make their own endorsements in statewide elections. The union backed Jim McGreevey in 2001, Jon Corzine in 2005 and 2009 and Chris Christie in 2013.
“The men and women of the Port Authority Police are the first faces many people see when entering New Jersey, and are among the very finest in uniform,” Murphy said. “Through our partnership, we’re working to bridge divides and instill greater community trust in law enforcement, so residents and police officers can continue to work together to build a safer New Jersey.
The Port Authority Police PBA represents more than 1,500 rank and file police officers, with a large number voting in New Jersey.
The State Troopers Fraternal Association endorsed Murphy earlier this week.
Four years ago, Murphy received broad support from law enforcement unions, including the state PBA. But so far, backing for a second term has not yet come.
The New Jersey PBA endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2020 and only Republican congressional candidates. They have endorsed candidates from both parties for the legislature.
Last month, state PBA President Patrick Colligan complained that new marijuana laws are restricting police officers from “upholding basic law and order.”
“Minors know very well that a police officer can’t detain, search or arrest them for violations of the law without facing a 3rd Degree charge for deprivation of human rights,” he said on July 30.
The Port Authority sergeants and lieutenants unions have not yet announced an endorsement in the 2021 gubernatorial race.
Editor’s note: the author served at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 2010 to 2013.