Fears Rise As Paterson, N.J. Police Force Lays Off 125 Officers

Mayor Jones Defiant; 18 Guardian Angels Brought In To Help

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) –– Members of the police union marched to City Hall screaming “911, Who ya gonna call!” as they protested the layoffs of 125 police officers in Paterson on Monday.

Officers wearing protest shirts and holding signs reading “Less cops equals more crime” crowded onto the steps of the city’s Public Safety Complex on Monday.

“This is all I wanted to do since I was born,” one officer said. “It’s just heart wrenching, I can’t believe it.”

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney Talks To A Cop From Neighboring Prospect Park

“This is hard. This is something I wanted to do. Now they’re telling me I can’t be an officer,” laid-off officer Nicanor Jiminez told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

“It’s difficult. I told you I don’t want to cry. It’s a like a family here. We worked hard to get here and they’re taking our jobs away,” laid-off officer Jaimie Kincherlow added.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Police Officers Protest Layoffs

The layoffs of a quarter of the police force comes after the city eliminated 392 municipal workers out of a workforce of nearly 2,000 to combat a $70 million budget deficit.

The officers marched by Mayor Jeffrey Jones, who stood on the steps of City Hall. Residents watched on. The mayor at one point put his head down. Later, during a press conference, he said he had no choice.

jeffery jones Fears Rise As Paterson, N.J. Police Force Lays Off 125 Officers

A defiant Mayor Jeffrey Jones stands out front of City Hall as laid off police officers march by booing and jeering him. (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

“The city chose to lay off the 125 no matter what we brought to the table,” Jones said. “You’re $70 million in debt. You’ve got to lay off enough people to reduce your budget gap.”

Union President Steven Olympia said the layoffs could have been avoided. A federal grant will bring back 25 positions in July.

Eighteen Guardian Angels began patrolling the city on Sunday, a fact that, while welcomed, didn’t exactly leave residents brimming with confidence.

“That’s very bad. It’s bad enough. Who do you call?” resident Shirley Robertson said.

“We need more cops! Without them there will be a lot of crime,” resident Rebecca Paterson added.

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa said members keep an eye on neighborhoods, break up fights and make citizen arrests. The group hopes to recruit Paterson residents to take over the patrols.

“You take 125 cops away, you’re basically putting a sign out that says, ‘City open. Open season for criminals.’ And we don’t want that image to go out about Paterson,” Sliwa told CBS 2.

Worry over the layoffs isn’t confined to the city of Paterson.

“Actually, I hear that a lot of the confidential informants are advising, like a lot of the narcotics guys and the gang officers, that they’re waiting. They’re waiting for this day,” a cop from neighboring Prospect Park told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.

The officers said they had to dip into their own pockets for uniforms. They didn’t get a stipend. Many of them bought as many as three different uniforms. Now they say they’ve lost that money, too.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Levon Putney
Comments

One Comment

  1. Thomas says:

    Maybe the bureaucrats in charge should take a pay cut. The teachers in Georgia have lost pay, had reduced budgets for supplies, cuts in retirement,etc. but no one in administration, especially at state level has had pay or benefits reduced. It is probably the same for New Jersey. There is an old saying, “Lead by example.” State and federal level bureaucrats should try it some time. When was the last time you heard of members of Congress at federal or state levels not voting for and accepting a pay raise much less taking a pay or benefit cut. When I was in the army and ended up being stuck in D.C. for the last half of my time, we were denied cost of living because they said it would cost too much. I calculated it and figured out that we were only getting $4.86 per meal for two meals a day and since we were not stationed at the main post, we could not eat at the chow hall were this price would be practical. Have you ever seen a meal that cheap in D.C. It might get you a kid’s meal at some fast food joint. Also, we had to pay for our own uniforms and replacement gear. I know some are going to ask this, yes we did get paid an allowance on the aniversary of our enlistment, however it was based on pay grade and years in service. I was an e-4 (Specialist) and only recieved $200 at the time. A new coat cost over $110 and a new uniform (top and bottom, no boots, socks or shirt) cost at least $80 and new boots (the basic combat boots) cost at least $60. These were just for our combat uniforms. Then you also had to pay for the patches and having them sewn on plus the dress unforms and shoes which we were required to wear anytime some general who we had never even heard of had a birthday or came to our base. Yet, at same time our federal congress was voting itself a pay raise and defending itself for recieving paid vacation trips and other goodies. I say, before cutting emergency responders’ pay, try wrangling in the overpaid politicians and contractors.

  2. Paul Kohloff says:

    I hope they make it easier to get pistol permits,that way the people can protect them selfs.and start killing dirt bags.

  3. HooDatIS? says:

    MAYOR JONES GOD BLESS YOU, YOU HAVE A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD OF U….KEEP PRAYING AND LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE….
    VISIT MY BLOG
    http://ethicalfutures.wordpress.com/

  4. john farnsworth says:

    Guardian Angels. Blah!

  5. old nasty says:

    The more cops they lay off.The less there are left, to arrest the ( Mayor.)
    Go figure!

  6. rajesh says:

    usa politicians are more interested in ousted they dam care about what’s going on inside usa. the worst still ahead notice my perdiction the economy gonna be more worst they never thought off and it will take years and years to come out of that. usa government should look first towards inside the country and the people. no need to interfare everywhere. only the common people will got hit hard. the top level will even survive because they have enough. but what about common people. who cares is the strategy of usa.

  7. Bell Toller says:

    Maybe the mayor is racist

  8. Elsie says:

    Wake up call – loud & clear. They said today they will lower USA credit rating. NOW maybe the unions & their something for nothing or “better than thou” attitudes will change. Maybe people will once again begin to look after each other not just their themselves. When the government is out of money do you really believe they’ll even make an effort to look after us???

  9. Jennifer Womble says:

    You take away half of the police force in New Jersy,the more crimes you are gonna have in the country.We need police officers so that they can protect people from criminals.Now we have to protect ourself with guns and such.You just open up pandora box all over again.

  10. Chardo says:

    Hey, that’s 125 guns off the streets!!!

  11. Borsia Novak says:

    These people price themselves out of the job market then cry about losing their jobs.
    Note that cities that have legalized carrying guns have seen crime drops of as much as 80%. Criminals are real brave when they know they are the only ones who are armed. When they know that everyone around them just might be packing they loose that bravado really quick.
    The anti-gun media would like you to believe that everyone will start shooting each other but legal guns have only turned up in .001% of crime scenes. At the same time over 1 million crimes are stopped every year by civilian citizens with guns

    1. mike says:

      Borsia many a high percentage of crimes are done with Guns sold legally but then they disappear and end up in criminals hands. We need tougher gun regulation first then you can look into allow legal gun owers to carrry.

      1. Tom says:

        no, legal carry for every law abiding citizen, no restrictions if you are law abiding.

  12. Mikeh says:

    It’s time to arm the populace. Police don’t prevent crime. They react after a crime has already been committed and more often than not, the criminal is released right back onto the street.

  13. Greg says:

    if we cant pay for them they have to go,they have bleed the middle income taxpayer for to long,we cant afford it!

    1. glen says:

      That’s how i feel. Cudo’s for the Mayor for doing his job well done. Let the police go cry to their Union heads for guidance. The marchers should have seen their union rep first. This is another example of how unions work. In the best of times, they take alot. In the worst of times, they cry like babies.

      1. Jrdz says:

        So how long will it be before you are whining like a little baby after your house or apartment gets broken into or your mugged?

  14. PJR says:

    Glen and Ted talk out of their azzes!!!

  15. anibethc says:

    Poor choice and poor time to lay off officers. Officers are needed to help combat crime. When there are less officers on the street, criminals will find the opportunities to make their moves into the most appealing pleces on earth and to turn the former safe area into a full scale danger zone. People will then, become less safe and will often try to find a way to move out of the crime zone.

  16. DAVE says:

    NO ONE LIKES COPS UNTIL YOU NEED ONE. ARE YOU MAN/WOMAN ENOUGH TO KNOCK ON YOUR NEIGHBORS DOOR AND TELL THEM TO TURN DOWN THE STEREO, SHUT UP THE BARKING DOG, STOP THE GUY FROM ROBBING YOUR LOCAL MARKET, FIND OUT WHO STOLE YOUR SON’S BICYCLE, GIVE FIRST AID TO THE KID THAT JUST GOT HIT BY A CAR IN FRONT OF YOUR HOUSE, FIND OUT WHO STOLE YOUR CAR FROM THE SHOPPING MALL, STOP THE GUY FROM BEATING YOUR LOVED ONE, NO ONE LIKES A COP TILL YOU NEED ONE.

  17. Edward T. DeVoe says:

    As a retired Law-Enforcement Officer, I feel for those who were laid off.

  18. Toni says:

    Maybe if the Police and Fire Dept. took a 15% pay cut with no cost of living raises this could have been averted. This is the same problem all across America.

  19. Junior says:

    What protection has the Police Dept. provided in the past? The crime has always been high and the police’s only true effort is writing you a ticket for double parking. In my opinion, they won’t be missed. Not to say that all of the police officers are bad cops, but some seriously take advantage of the responsibility they have and abuse their power. Police need to realize that their jobs can be lost as easy as anyone else’ in this day and age.

    In regards of the Guardian Angels, they are seriously risking their lives for the betterment of the community. I don’t support the action of this group due to its dangerous circumstances but i respect their motives.

  20. Harold says:

    Half of the 150 proberly had desk jobs!!!

  21. Glens a joke says:

    shut up and get a life Glen.

  22. glen pierce says:

    I would like to know how much of this publicity is Police Union talk and how much is real. How many police were on the force say 25 years ago? And now how many? Also, how many are in the field 25 years ago vs now? Has technology changed the way police work? eg in the office. Does technology help the police work faster and better or does technology create new police jobs?

    Has there been an efficiency job review? Meaning, are new improved work methods used? Or is the job always the same? EG police in 1925 did not have so many cars? So are having cars mean less police or more police. that kind of thinking. has highway roadways changed the way the police work. maybe route 80 created a need for more policemen because crooks have better escape routes?
    Are there more drugs now than 25 years ago, necessitating more police? Or is that a different law enforcement branch?

    I would like to know if they did a bottom to top review before laying off anyone.

    Did the police Union help do a study? or did they expect to simply use the public sympathy card?

    1. ted says:

      Glen – the only study the police union is concerned with is how much dues they will lose out on and how they will be able to squeeze even greater pension and sick benefits out of the taxpayer. Maybe the financial crisis this country is facing is a good thing. Maybe it will finally wake up the people to demand that the politicians stop the looting.

  23. Bell Toller says:

    This is very seedy area

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

WFAN Football Cruise Drip
1010 WINS Special

Listen Live