Office of the Governor
Statewide law enforcement
agencies endorse Govenor's DMV reforms
(Trenton) - Law enforcement officials joined Governor James E. McGreevey today to voice their support for the Administration's Division of Motor Vehicles reform package—a $200 million initiative that calls for a comprehensive overhaul of the troubled agency to address pressing security issues.
Joining the Governor at the press conference were representatives of the NJ Association of County Prosecutors, State Troopers Non-Commissioned Officers Association, State Troopers Fraternal Association, State Troopers Superior Officers Association, NJ Association of the Chiefs of Police, and NJ Fraternal Order of Police. Also in attendance were Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox, DMV Director Diane Legreide, Acting Superintendent of the NJ State Police Frederick Madden, and Director of the Office of Counter-Terrorism Sid Caspersen.
“Improving safety and restoring efficiency at the DMV has been a top priority of this Administration,” said McGreevey. “Creating a safe and secure DMV requires the support of not just state government, but the law enforcement community as well. We have made significant strides to reverse the culture of neglect that we inherited, and I want to thank law enforcement and county prosecutors for working in partnership with us as we implement these reforms.”
To date, the Governor said reforms have led to more than 60 arrests, removal of nearly half of the DMV's private agents, the completion of background checks on more than 500 agency employees, development of a document fraud-training unit and the addition of fraud investigators.
“We cannot sit idly by and watch the continued erosion of the security of New Jersey and its citizens,“ said Dolores Blackburn, President of the NJ Association of County Prosecutors. “These vital security improvements take a strong preventative step toward eliminating the abuse of our current DMV system, and provide court officers with the necessary support to enforce laws of this state.”
“As we move forward, we must remember that there are no free lunches – it is time for New Jersey to accept responsibility and pay for the needed reforms,” said Edward Brannigan, President of the NJ Fraternal Order of Police. “Fixing DMV has a cost – but failure to fix it has an even greater cost.”
“The Governor’s DMV reforms are extremely important for our state and our nation,” said Kenneth J. McClelland, President of the State Troopers Fraternal Association. “The mission of the State Police is to take counter-terrorism initiatives into the future and it is very important to have the input and support of the rank and file troopers in doing this.”
“The State Troopers Superior Officers Association fully supports the Governor’s initiative to tighten up security at the DMV and make us the best that we can be,” said Lt. Stephen J. Flynn, President of the State Troopers Superior Officers Association.
“We are very supportive of the Governor’s efforts to address an issue critical not only to the state, but to the nation,” said Sergeant First Class Dennis Hallion, President of the State Troopers Non-Commissioned Officers Association.
"I'd like to thank Governor McGreevey for his willingness to fight for increased security at the Division of Motor Vehicles," said Madden. "Every day New Jersey's law enforcement community fights document fraud, identity theft and terrorism to protect our citizens. Thanks to the Governor's leadership, our men and women will have a new arsenal of tools to help them get the job done."
"For too long, New Jersey's driver's licenses and other DMV documents have been illegally trafficked, while funding and personnel have been systematically cut," said Fox. "The reforms outlined by the Fix DMV Commission will allow law enforcement agencies to protect our citizens and the integrity of our DMV documents.”
Since 1989, spending on DMV enforcement and security has been cut by 35 percent. In the last 20 years, the number of internal auditors has been slashed from 14 to 4 and an elite staff of 29 auto fraud investigators to just two.
State Senator Nicholas Sacco, Assembly Speaker Albio Sires and Assemblyman John Wisniewski sponsored legislation that will support structural reforms and necessary revenue provisions. A final vote is expected on the legislation by the end of the year.
The reform package also includes a series of customer service improvements as well, including Saturday hours and increased services on the DMV website.