ACLU voices concern over NJ Transit homeless memo

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(04/05/06) NEWARK ? Representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) say they have concerns about a New Jersey Transit police memo regarding the homeless.

The memo in question, dated March 23, reports a possible influx of homeless people into New Jersey from New York. Officers were instructed to issue summonses for trespassing at New Jersey Transit facilities when deemed necessary. ACLU representatives say they are troubled by the memo. According to the ACLU, a homeless man recently dropped his lawsuit against New Jersey Transit because the organization said it would treat homeless people fairly.

ACLU representatives say the government can?t determine who does and doesn?t belong to facilities open to the public. New Jersey Transit police officials say the memo only served as a reminder and is not part of a crackdown. Police officials say they are concerned, however, about the health of officers dealing with homeless people at the facilities. According to police, some of the homeless individuals have communicable diseases that can be passed on to officers.

 

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