TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16th)  has expressed serious concern that Gov. Phil Murphy’s delayed reopening of New Jersey is leading to unnecessary conflict between New Jersey law enforcement and state residents.

“A number of local law enforcement agencies have reached out to me to express concern that they are facing increasing hostility from New Jerseyans who are ready to go out and resume living, even if Governor Murphy says they should stay locked down at home,” Bateman said.  “The governor has to recognize that the continuation of his lockdown restrictions is putting our police and first responders in incredibly difficult situations. He’s creating unnecessary conflict with residents who are ready to take responsibility for their personal health and safety in a world with COVID-19.”

Situations similar to the well-publicized conflict between residents and police at a Bellmawr gym that opened in defiance of the governor’s executive orders are happening more frequently across New Jersey, according to Bateman.

“Those who serve in law enforcement will uphold their oaths and do their jobs, even if it’s enforcing the governor’s executive orders that no longer make sense,” added Bateman. “Governor Murphy shouldn’t put our police officers in that position. New Jerseyans are smart enough and capable enough to be trusted with living their own lives.”