Education

City Council Funds Hiring of 34 More School Crossing Guards

c8960b852c78148bc7c9_crossingguard.jpg
PatersonPress.com file photo  
c8960b852c78148bc7c9_crossingguard.jpg

 

PATERSON, NJ – In an effort to free up police officers to fight crime, the City Council revised the municipal budget Friday night to boost the number of school crossing guards from 1o6 to 140.

For years, Paterson has been assigning police officers to fill vacant school crossing posts, a practice that dramatically escalated last year when the city laid off 16 crossing guards. Officials and residents have complained that reassigning the cops for an hour in the morning and afternoon has left Paterson vulnerable to criminals and resulted in lengthy delays when citizens call for police service.

Sign Up for E-News

“I don’t want to hear that a police officer is not available again,’’ said Councilman Aslon Goow,who proposed funding the full complement of 140 crossing guards.

But residents should not expect to see any change in school crossing practices overnight. Under the terms of agreement that provides Paterson with $21 million in transitional aid, the city must get permission from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) before it hires anyone.

Last fall, the state denied Paterson’s requests to rehire 37 police officers and dozens of part-time evening program recreation workers, saying it would not approve any additions to the payroll until the city balanced its proposed 2012 budget. At present, the budget still has a deficit of about $4.5 million – including cuts made on Friday night - and officials say they believe they cannot close the gap without additional aid from the state, something Trenton says it won’t provide.

The preliminary budget had $1.2 million earmarked for the salaries of 106 crossing guards. Administration officials told the council on Friday night that filling all 140 crossing guard jobs would cost an extra $400,000.

In the aftermath of last year’s layoffs, the city has not always been able to fill vacant crossing guard posts. In September, two young girls crossing a street with their father were hit by a car on their way home from school at Madison and 3rd avenues, a corner where officials were not able to fill a crossing guard post that day.

On Friday night, the council agreed to use savings from other police department budget cuts to fund the crossing guards. One area the council had reduced was the money set aside to hire 13 communications officers.

Police Director Glenn Brown told the council he wanted to increase the number of civilians working in the police communications center from 27 to 40. Brown said that would allow him to assign police officers working in the communications room to duties that would help fight crime. Using higher-paid police officers for duties that could be handled by civilians is a “sore spot” with the state, the director said.

But officials said Paterson has not yet applied to the state to hire the extra civilians for communications. As a result, the council eliminated funding for 10 of the proposed 13 new communications workers from the budget.

During Friday’s hearing, the city council also struck from the budget $174,630 that had been set aside for the salary of one of Paterson’s three deputy police chiefs. That’s the result of a revision of the police hierarchy that’s being implemented as part of James Wittig’s recent retirement from the police chief’s job.

Instead of having one chief and three deputies, the department will have one chief and two deputies, officials said. At present, deputy chief William Fraher is serving as acting chief under a 30-day appointment that expires at the end of this month. After that, the mayor will appoint someone as acting chief for up to six months while the city seeks a permanent replacement for Wittig, officials said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

‘We Must Not Be Enemies’

May 9, 2018

Dear Editor

I want to take opportunity to congratulate Mayor Elect Andre Sayegh on his awesome election night victory and for running a campaign to unite all Patersonians. His message of “One Paterson” resonated with the electorate. I believe that Paterson's best days are ahead. He will govern the city the same way he campaigned, always putting Paterson and ...

Adopt A Pet

May 20, 2018

This little cutie is the last “good” reminder of a bitter winter. The family, mom included, were rescued during a nasty blizzard. They adapted quickly to being safe inside and are now ready to find their new homes and their new families. Hailey is quite the player and is all about kitten energy. Born in late February of 2018, this beautiful grey and white girl enjoys wrestling with ...

Five Former Salesmen For Morris County Clinical Lab Sentenced For Bribing Doctors In $100 Million Test Referral Scheme

NEWARK, N.J. – Five individuals were sentenced today for bribing doctors in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, New Jersey, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Doug Hurley, 38, of Hillsborough, New Jersey, and Kevin Kerekes, 52, of ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Passaic County CASA Recognizes Volunteer Child Advocates at Annual Event

May 11, 2018

WAYNE, NJ- More than 50 staff members, volunteers, and board members from Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) celebrated the impact of CASA volunteers at the organization's Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on April 28, 2018, at Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne. This annual event recognizes Passaic County CASA volunteer advocates and the difference they make in the lives of ...

PayPal CEO says Rutgers grads need to "Help Repair the World"

May 14, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, called on the Class of 2018 to take a stand for social justice as they graduate during a time of unprecedented technological and social change.

He talked about the decision at PayPal to rescind plans to build a global operations center in North Carolina following legislation many considered discriminatory against the ...

Murphy Signs Legislation Championed by Paterson Senator Nellie Pou to Give DREAMers In-state Financial Aid

NEWARK, NJ - Legislation co-sponsored by Paterson's Senator Nellie Pou (D-35) allowing students to apply for state financial aid assistance, joining nine other states nationally to make both tuition and financial aid available to DREAMers, was signed into law on Wednesday by Governor Phil Murphy.

The DREAM Act was a bill created by Congress to allow undocumented immigrants ...

Brownie Troop Donates Cookies to Paterson Military Food Pantry. Joint Effort by Great Falls Rotary and Passaic County Board of Realtors Continues to Thrive

May 19, 2018

Today was such a momentous day in the life of a Rotarian/Realtor and the perfect example of community service and partnerships.

Roger Fields, a fellow realtor and current President of the VFW post in Butler and his wife Joan, when approached by Brownie Troop 96521 Butler-Bloomingdale Service Unit regarding the donation of Girl Scouts cookies immediately provided them with my contact ...