The bill is named after corrections officer Fred Baker who was killed in the line of duty
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jeff Van Drew and Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matthew Milam (all D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland) designating July 30th “Corrections Officer Day” in New Jersey has received final legislative approval and now heads to the governor’s desk.
The bill (A-481/A-2126), named “Fred Baker’s Law” after Senior Corrections Officer Fred Baker who was brutally stabbed to death by an inmate at Bayside State Prison in Leesburg on July 30, 1997, designates July 30th of every year “Corrections Officer Day” in New Jersey to recognize and honor all corrections officers for their hard-work and continuous efforts to keep the residents of New Jersey safe.
“Corrections officers in New Jersey work in extremely demanding conditions and face danger in the workplace every single day. It is important that we honor these individuals for all they do to keep the public safe, and that we never forget those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in our facilities,” said Senator Van Drew. “This measure will establish an annual Corrections Officer Day in New Jersey in recognition of all the officers who have made it their life’s work to safeguard the public from dangerous offenders and to help rehabilitate prisoners to make them productive members of society. This day will also honor Senior Officer Baker, who will always be remembered for his bravery and his service at Bayside State Prison, as well as all of those whose lives were lost while working to protect and improve the lives of others.”
“Supervising and overseeing criminals incarcerated in correctional facilities is a stressful and dangerous responsibility; and at its worse, can be deadly,” said Albano. “This is a small gesture to honor the memory of Officer Baker and recognize the commitment of corrections officers throughout New Jersey who toll away daily under very trying circumstances to keep us safe.”
“Corrections officers work under demanding conditions, daily facing situations which threaten their personal safety and well-being,” said Milam. “The perils of the job claimed the life of Officer Baker, but his death does not have to be in vain. This designation will serve as a reminder of the sacrifice he made, and the dedication of New Jersey’s corrections officers, who unlike other professionals tasked with our safety, don’t always get the recognition they deserve.”
The bill was approved 78-0 by the Assembly and 40-0 by the Senate last month.