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Schundler Calls for Maintaining Staffed Prison Guard Towers

Tours Cumberland Prison Facilities With Assemblyman Asselta

(MAURICE RIVER, AUGUST 1) - During a Wednesday afternoon visit to Bayside prison in Cumberland County, Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bret Schundler announced that as Governor he would support keeping the manned guard towers manned at New Jersey’s prisons 24-hours a day.

Schundler, during a tour of Bayside State Prison, said that he would be opposed to a previously proposed plan to remove guards from the prison towers at certain state prisons. Assemblyman Nick Asselta joined Schundler on his tour.

“Having guards in these towers eases the concerns of residents living near these prisons, and it provides a feeling of security for those guards working in the prisons,” Schundler said. “I think it is important that the state respect the concerns of local residents, and that it heed the recommendations of prison guards who deal with the security of these facilities on a day-to-day basis.”

During the prison tour, Schundler also highlighted his record of putting criminals behind bars in Jersey City through innovative policing strategies and implementation of programs like Project Exile that impose tougher penalties on those who commit crimes while in the possession of a gun.

“During my term as Mayor, we were able to put more cops on the street and to find more effective ways of reducing crime,” Schundler said. “Violent crime dropped by 28 percent during my more than eight years in office. Crime in Woodbridge during that same period of time is up by 21 percent. Last week I unveiled “Project Blue Print” a plan to put 1,000 more police officers on city streets and to provide municipalities and county prosecutors’ offices with the latest in technology to more effectively fight crime.”

Under Project Blue Print, the state would provide funding to municipalities and county prosecutors to help them link up with a statewide GIS crime tracking computer program. They also would be provided with grants to help hire civilian personnel to fill clerical and other administrative office jobs, freeing up more 1,000 police officers to patrol New Jersey’s streets.

Schundler said that while his opponent continues to try to distort his record on the gun issue, he will continue to focus on ways that we can actually reduce crime through effective policing strategies and tougher enforcement of gun laws.

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