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Report: Jersey City Police Officer Exodus Could Cost Taxpayers Millions

Mayor-Elect Steven Fulop Says City Will Closely Audit Sick Day Requests
Jersey City police cruiser (credit: CBS 2)

Jersey City police cruiser (credit: CBS 2)

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The chief of police in New Jersey’s second largest city has announced his retirement.

Jersey City Police Chief Thomas J. Comey said he’ll step down at the end of May after 32 years with the department.

Comey has held a number of positions within the department, and is credited with fostering joint anti-crime initiatives with state and federal law enforcement.

Mayor-elect Steven Fulop is criticizing the timing of Comey’s departure and the post-election retirement of dozens of officers.

Fulop said the department exodus will cost Jersey City taxpayers millions of dollars in payouts for unused vacation and sick days, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.

“They’re trying to get that in before I take office. That totals upwards of $5 million. Some are requesting $600,000 to $700,000. They’re basically making the claim that in 36 years of policing, they’ve never taken one single vacation day,” Fulop said.

Fulop has vowed to audit every request for unpaid sick days for retiring officers, saying some have submitted claims that they did not take a single sick day in 30 years. There are two possible outcomes, Fulop said.

“Outcome number one is that he’s a Lou Gehrig of policing, never taken a day off. Outcome number two is that there’s fraudulent activity there. And so it’s our job to figure out which one it is,” he explained.

Mayor-elect Fulop also told 1010 WINS that the mass retirement will leave Jersey City with fewer high-ranking cops, forcing the police department to do more with less.

Rincon reached out to the Jersey City police union, and was waiting for a response.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

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