The Logan Township Police Dept. would like to notify all of our residents regarding recent changes in the law pertaining to police interactions with juveniles. The changes to the law directly deal with the illegal possession of alcohol or marijuana by a juvenile and directs law enforcement’s actions with regard to dealing with your child. If a Logan Officer should have contact with your child (21 and under) and they are in possession of or under the influence of marijuana or alcohol, police officers are no longer allowed to advise parents of the offense. Officers are only able to confiscate and destroy the items in plain sight, however we are no longer permitted to conduct a probable cause search, nor inform you of the incident unless another criminal offense is committed. Officers are only allowed to advise parents of these violations after the second and any subsequent offenses. We strongly recommend that parents routinely check their child’s belongings if you suspect that any of this behavior is occurring. We firmly believe that early intervention on these issues is critical to navigating through them and preventing them from become larger issues such as substance abuse and related criminal activity.
Please keep in mind that although marijuana possession and use has been largely decriminalized, it is still unlawful for individuals under the age of 21 to have it in their possession or ingest it. The Logan Township Police Department’s official stance is that the new laws will only embolden children to illegally use marijuana and thereby increase juveniles use and abuse of it and other substances. This recently enacted legislation also makes it a 3rd degree criminal offense for deprivation of civil rights for a law enforcement officer to investigate or detain a juvenile based solely on these offenses.
We as a department will always put the welfare of the child first, meaning if the juvenile is highly impaired and is a danger to himself/herself or the public, the juvenile will be brought home and released to a parent/guardian under the community caretaking function.
If you have any questions regarding these laws, please contact the Police Department. And if you object to the new laws, please contact the NJ Legislature to let them know your thoughts.
Chief joseph Lombardo