New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Colligan today announced that the State PBA is joining the Essex County PBA Conference in endorsing John Arnold as the next Essex County Sheriff.
Arnold is challenging Armando Fontoura in the upcoming Democratic primary on June 8.
The NJ State PBA represents 33,000+ law enforcement officers throughout the state.
“John Arnold has excellent law enforcement experience having served in the state’s biggest city as Newark’s Deputy Police Director. With low morale penetrating state, local and county law enforcement ranks, Deputy Director Arnold is the right candidate to lead the men and women serving in the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. He has the skills and experience to restore public trust in law enforcement while meeting the challenges facing county officers,” said Patrick Colligan.
InsiderNJ interviewed Arnold last month.
Career law enforcement officer and United States Marine Arnold – son of a Newark Police Officer – wants to be the first African American sheriff of Essex County.
“We know we can do better policing in our communities,” Arnold said.
The off-the-line, line C candidate in the June 8th Democratic Primary recalled accompanying then-South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka to a county commissioners’ meeting where Baraka pleaded with elected officials to deliver resources into the south ward of Newark. Politics, said Arnold, always played a role in resource distribution.
Through the years, “I would see the sheriff’s department in the north ward but not the central, west and central,” said the candidate. “You always take care of home. You don’t disregard other areas but the sheriff’s office is not visible in [important locations within the Newark community].”
Arnold is running against incumbent Sheriff Fontoura, the longest-serving sheriff in Essex County history, who first took on the job in 1990.
Arnold said the deep divide between the African-American community and law enforcement makes now the right time for Essex to elect a new sheriff.
“If they saw John Arnold, who grew up in the City of Newark … that’s an inspiration for a lot of men and women,” the candidate told InsiderNJ. “I know the issues and the conversations, and when it comes to law enforcement – it’s overdue.”