JERSEY CITY, NJ - In what appears to be a move to restore some aspects of the currently eliminated off-duty police program, the Jersey City City Council is poised to approve limited assignments such as traffic and safety assignments for construction and utility work.
“This is only the start,” said Councilman Richard Boggiano, noting that he, along with at-large Councilman Daniel Rivera and Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, have been working on this for a year and a half.
“Jersey City cops are not paid that high a salary and are often forced to move out of Jersey City,” Boggiano said. “This will help them supplement their salaries. It will also put more cops visible on the streets.”
Mayor Steve Fulop halted the off-duty program two years ago citing abuses of a long-standing program and a federal investigation that led to the conviction of now ex-cops for no show jobs, bribery and conspiracy.
These officers, including a former Chief of Police, were charged with, and in some cases admitted to, taking money for jobs they didn’t perform, creating fake pay vouchers for other cops, or bribing others to keep quiet.
Since the city shut down the program, there have been behind the scenes efforts to restore it, including by the union that represents rank-and-file members of the JCPD who say it is a matter of public safety.
“While there is more work to be done, we are glad that Mayor Fulop and the City Council are continuing to engage in this conversation with us,” Carmine Disbrow, President of the JCPOBA, said.
Pointing to the ongoing battle with COVID-19, as well as the numerous demonstrations that have taken place in past days, Disbrow added that “ultimately we share the same goal which is to protect the residents we serve, and keep our city and officers safe.”
“This isn’t a perfect solution,” Boggiano said about the pending council action, “but it is a start.”
Editor's Note: The Publisher of TAPinto Jersey City also serves as a consultant to the JCPOBA
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