Joe Cryan does not think police or politicians should be required to live where they serve, which is why 70 percent of the politician’s real estate assets are in Pennsylvania, causing some concern about his commitment to the Garden State and the people of Union County who lack real representative in the New Jersey Senate.
Unlike Joe Cryan, Assemblyman Jamel Holley was born in the 20th District and he supports residency requirements for both police and politicians.
Cryan was the only Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee who refused to advance legislation that would allow municipalities to require law enforcement officials to live in the towns wherever they are employed.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and state Senator Shirley Turner both offered testimony supporting the measure, arguing that police should not be detached from the public trust.
Cryan indicated he is more concerned about maintaining his political support among police unions than serving his constituency.
Cryan has often stood apart from mainstream Democrats on civil rights issues and related topics in Trenton.
He was the only Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee who refused to support legislation allowing a municipality to enact a police and firefighter residency ordinance, even after a number of prominent Black leaders said the first responders should reside in communities they are supposed to serve.
Cryan even supported legislation that was advanced by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and he is on record stating that he wants to outlaw abortion. Critics have compared Cryan to Donald Trump, another anti-abortion politician who had been endorsed by police unions.
Seventy percent of Joe Cryan’s real estate assets are in Pennsylvania, and barely 30 percent is in New Jersey. Jamel Holley lived only in the 20th District, in Roselle, and now resides just a few blocks from where he was born and raised.
Holley graduated from Abraham Clark High School in Roselle and received a Master of Public Administration from Kean University, in Union. He’s got roots in Union County and an affinity for the kind of people who live in Elizabeth, Hillside, and Roselle.
Cryan was born in East Orange, graduated high school in South Orange and went to college in North Carolina. Seventy percent of Cryan’s real estate assets are in Pennsylvania.
Cryan lists a home address as 1371 Beverly Rd, Union, NJ 07083, a single family home built in 1917. The property currently has an estimated value of $284,463.
Shortly after he took office in the New Jersey Senate, Cryan bought a house at 122 S Lake Dr, Lake Harmony, PA 18624 and that Pennsylvania property is now worth $652,160.
Many progressive activists all over America want officers to be required to live in the cities they patrol, arguing it will make officers more culturally competent, diversify police forces and improve community relations.
“It’s a plus if we have officers who live in the city, they grew up in the city, they have a stake in the city because it’s home,” said Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who is supporting a bill to restore the city’s police residency requirement. “It goes a long way to building community trust.”
Creating a community connection is advocated by many of the same activists who say lawmakers should focus on measures such as ending the use of no-knock warrants and chokeholds, which have led to recent deaths of African Americans.
Powerful police unions stand in the way of structural reform, experts say and Cryan is emblematic of the malign influence some of those organizations have over government.
Cryan is endorsed by New Jersey’s largest police union, the same organization that supported former President Donald Trump last year. The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, which represents about 33,000 people, opposed policing reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s death.