MORRISTOWN, NJ - Tensions between the Morristown PBA Local 43 and the Morristown Police continue to smolder. When asked why this situation is playing out on social media, the Morristown PBA stated that the town and the Public safety Director has not responded back to them regarding these issues.
"Unfortunately, we didn't have many options", Morristown PBA Local 43.
The back and forth began with an original Facebook post where the Morristown PBA Local 43 voiced concerns regarding their newly assigned walking posts.
The local PBA stated that they have been "hesitant" to write tickets outside of "mandatory, flagrant, or unusual circumstances" the town administration is retaliating against them, they wrote. According to the post, then mandatory walking posts at night were implemented, which the group believes is in retaliation to the lack of written tickets. Read more HERE
Although TAP had requested a comment from the mayor and town officials, none has been provided. However, the Morristown Chief of Police took to Facebook to respond to PBA Local 43.
Chief Darnell Richardson, in the post, said that he and he alone makes the decisions based on operations within the police bureau and not the administration. Read his full response HERE
However, the Morristown PBA Local 43 took to social media again to state that neither the Acting Chief nor the Mayor has addressed their message. The organization believes, as stated in the post, that they "were punished by having our vehicles taken from our 3 foot posts officers in retaliation for not further burdening our residents with unnecessary summonses during a pandemic that has unquestionably impacted our community. Neither stated that there was no new order given to take patrol vehicles away from our post officers who have had vehicles for the past 4 years. That is simply because the order WAS given", they wrote on Facebook.
"Neither the Acting Chief, who was born and raised in Morristown nor Mayor elected by the people of Morristown said “Of course we don’t want to further punish our residents with unnecessary tickets”. Please ask yourself why that is. The Mayor spoke about how many officers he has hired during his term as well as how many police cars he has purchased. Replacing retired officers is necessary and not an accolade or accomplishment. For clarity, we have 3 less officers today than we did when the Mayor took office. Replacing failing vehicles is also not an accolade or accomplishment. Vehicles are tools to respond to calls for service and not rewards for good behavior. The Mayor stated that he does not get involved in the day to day police operations. I’d have to then ask, why did he hire a Public Safety Director who reports directly to the Mayor. We would encourage you to read the remarks for yourself on the Morristown Public Safety page as well as the Town Council meeting which can be found on the towns website".
"Our initial post was never about vehicles, manpower or not wanting to walk foot posts", the post continued. "We will gladly walk foot posts. It was about being punished by taking vehicles from 3 officers for not writing enough tickets during a pandemic. That seems like the least we can do for our community during these times".
"The lack of available patrol cars was evident two days after the order was given to “increase productivity” and we didn’t respond. There was a near fatal accident where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. The officer on foot at the Green had to walk to 200 South St. to pick up a vehicle. That’s nearly a mile walk. He was then instructed to pick up the other two officers on foot and bring them to headquarters to get into vehicles in order to help deal with the scene and calls for service. If you are questioning that logic, so are we", they post concluded.