PATERSON, NJ (WCBS 880) – A quarter of the Paterson police force is being laid off. One hundred twenty-five officers will be handing in their badges and guns Friday.
WCBS 880 Reporter Levon Putney With Alarmed Residents
The lay offs have many residents concerned about their safety.
“Who’s going to protect these streets?” one woman asked WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney. “Who’s going to protect our children when they go back and forth to school?”
“I think it’s dumb”, one man said. “Why would you lay off officers, but city officials, they can’t take a pay cut?”
Another man said Paterson needs a large police force because gangs are building up and creating wars on the streets.
A police officer who works in the county jail said that he is rooting for the remaining city cops.
“Let’s just cross our fingers that the guys on the road maintain their vigilance out there,” he said.
One officer from neighboring Prospect Park says Paterson’s response times have already slowed.
“They take an hour to get there, even if it’s something serious, even an armed robbery, because they’re so back-logged with calls as it is,” he said.
It was recently announced that Paterson would receive a $500,000 grant for police technology upgrades.
Jersey City recently averted police layoffs.