TRENTON, NJ – Less than 24 hours after Shore News Network broke the news out of Jackson Township where one councilman suggested deploying the New Jersey Army National Guard to Lakewood Township, where residents are concerned about violations of Murphy’s Law, the stay-at-home order and mandated social distancing, Governor Murphy said the National Guard won’t be coming any time soon.
“Unfortunately, not everyone is following the law of the land, unfortunately, there are groups of people who hide behind cultures and religious beliefs who put themselves, our first responders and quite honestly all of Jackson and all of the bordering towns [of Lakewood] are at risk. For their selfishness, irresponsibility, and inability to follow the law put in place by President Trump and Governor Murphy,” Jackson Councilman Barry Calogero said. “How in God’s name can civilized people disrespect their neighbors the President and the Governor’s orders. It is with a sad heart I implore governor murphy to set aside politics and use your power and authority to call out the national guard to enforce the law and protect Ocean County from those who cannot seem to follow our laws.”
In the past 24 hours, Calogero’s political stock has skyrocketed as he now stands as the only elected official, possibly in the entire state of New Jersey to officially call attention to the soaring infection rate and Murphy’s Law violations in Lakewood, which borders his town of Jackson. At Tuesday night’s town council meeting, Calogero had support from his fellow council members regarding the importance of social distancing, but he stood alone when it came time to call the National Guard into Lakewood. Even Mayor Michael Reina who has had a rocky relationship with the growing Orthodox Jewish community in his town didn’t reference Calogero’s request, his presence dwarfed after the commanding speech by Calogero.
Murphy said he has not heard from Jackson Township on the matter, but said a request might have gone through his subordinates. Murphy said for now, he’s going to rely on local, county and state police to enforce the laws in communities that are violating social distancing.
“We’re not seeing the large gatherings,” said Pat Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We would not need the National Guard to perform that role.”