Mukherji talks ‘Melvin Santiago’s Law’ on anniversary of officer’s death

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After a Jersey City’s West District Police Station was dedicated to slain Jersey City Police Det. Melvin Santiago, Assemblyman Mukherji discussed “Melvin Santiago’s Law,” which was recently advanced in the Senate.

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“The naming of the new West District Precinct, I think, bespeaks Det. Santiago’s legacy Police work is not for the faint of heart, and it’s just as difficult for the family members of our police and fire personnel, law enforcement,” Mukherji said outside the new police station on 1 Jackson Ave.

Mukherji and old running mate Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33) have been instrumental in moving the Melvin Santiago Law (which was introduced in March) through the legislature – the bill would expand the scope of the Security Officer Registration Act (SORA).

“When the other sponsors and I heard from the POBA (Police Officers Benevolent Association) and other activists, that right now SORA: the Security Officers Registration Act doesn’t extend to in-house security guard employed directly by companies – it only applies to security guards hired though contractors.”

“We wanted to make sure we closed that loophole. That’s why the other sponsors authored the Det. Melvin Vincent Santiago Law, in his memory, also to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen if the guards are employed in-house.”

In a separate interview with Hudson County View, Cathy McBride, Melvin Santiago’s mother, expressed support for the piece of legislation named after her son.

“I think it’s a good thing. Nothing’s gonna bring my son back, but if it can help save another officer’s life, I think it’s an amazing idea. You also have to have the person that’s holding the gun be qualified to protect themself also.”

Garcia also weighed in on Santiago’s passing in a statement sent to Hudson County View.

“One year after Officer Melvin Santiago was killed in the line of duty, we take this day to commemorate his bravery and commitment to serving the public and making the ultimate sacrifice. It is a tragedy that this young man’s bright future was taken away from him, from his family, and from us,” he said.

“I applaud and thank all officers in the Jersey City Police Department for their dedication and commitment to protecting the public and for honoring Melvin’s memory by naming the new West District Police Station after him. It is indeed a fitting tribute that will stand the test of time, so that he will always be remembered and honored by a grateful community.”