Increased police security at Gov. Chris Christie’s town hall events appears to be the new norm.
The governor’s office announced Monday Christie will host his 115th town hall event in Flemington later this week. The event, slated for Thursday, is the governor’s second for the week and will highlight Christie’s budget proposal.
However, unlike previous news releases announcing the town hall events, Christie’s office noted “due to safety requirements, law enforcement will be in attendance and will wand all attendees.”
The police reference first appeared in news releases after law enforcement officers removed a half dozen protesters from the Mount Laurel event after the mostly college students began heckling the governor during the town hall.
A Christie spokesman said the timing of the new security measures have nothing to do with the protesters at the Mount Laurel event and referred to the new procedures as a State Police “security decision.” The spokesman, Kevin Roberts, said the new security measure was first sent out to attendees who received an invite from the governor’s office for the March 4 event.
Previously, town hall announcements were accompanied by notice advising attendees “no bags of any kind are permitted in the venue and personal items are subject to search.”
Christie is hosting a town hall Tuesday in South River.
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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