Paterson officials have notified the state civil service commission that they intend to lay off 59 police officers in two weeks. Once again, another North Jersey city in danger of seeing more criminals on the street wants to have fewer cops out there to protect its citizens.
This comes as summer makes its turn into the dog days of August, that time of year when temperatures — and tempers — flare hottest.
Why? What else? Budget cuts.
It’s a refrain that’s been repeated elsewhere — including West New York, where 22 officers could be without jobs come Friday unless union officers give back a huge chunk of health benefits.
Although CLIFFVIEWPILOT does its best to avoid political wrangling, Paterson’s dispute has a “business as usual” element that can’t be avoided:
Paterson officials pitched furloughs to all municipal employees in April. The PBA was the only union not to accept the deal.
In turn, 26 detectives were reassigned to patrol for three months.
Now come the layoffs — of police only.
Union leaders say the department already is understaffed. Many of the newer officers likely to be laid off are fighting overseas, they said.
For their part, Mayor Joey Torres and other city officials aren’t saying anything.
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