Paterson Top Stories

Police Budget: Plans to Hire 17 School Crossing Guards

384dd1e7c233098d962d_crossingguard.jpg
PatersonPress.com file photo
384dd1e7c233098d962d_crossingguard.jpg

PATERSON, NJ – In an effort to redeploy some police officers, the city has asked the state’s permission to hire 17 school crossing guards, according to Public Safety Director Director Glenn Brown.

At present, the city uses police officers to fill in at vacant crossing guard posts when school starts in the morning and at dismissal in the afternoon. Usually, that means more than 20 police officers per day get pulled from their regular duties to cover the crossing guard assignments, officials said.

The number of school crossing vacancies grew in 2011 when the city laid off 16 of the guards, leaving 106 on the payroll.

Sign Up for E-News

Brown confirmed the application to hire the extra crossing guards after last week’s City Council hearing on the police department’s proposed $48.1 million budget, which includes $46.5 million for salaries. About $3.1 million of the police salary account is covered by federal grants and other programs that don’t use city property taxes.

The preliminary budget didn’t include all the expenses that law enforcement officials anticipate for the coming. Among those that still need to be added to the budget are several hundred thousand dollars for an upgrade in the radio system, $100,000 for gas masks and an unspecified number for the proposed new special police unit.

Acting Police Chief William Fraher said the creation of the special police unit will end up saving the city money by reducing overtime payments to regular officers for security at community events and parades. For example, Fraher told the council that this month’s Dominican parade cost more than $100,000 for police overtime.

The City Council targeted police overtime during the past year. At one point, the council held back checks on the grounds that the administration had not provided enough documentation to substantiate the overtime. Facing a legal challenge by the police officers’ union, the council eventually relented.

Preliminary budget figures put police overtime in 2013 at $1.7 million. That’s $413,391 more than what was budgeted last year, and about $102,000 more than what was spent.

As a result of the retirements in the past eight months of Chief James Wittig and Deputy Chief Robert Drace,the city police department has openings in two of the four top slots in its table of organization.

Brown told the council he planned to cut the number of deputy chief positions from three to two and to increase by two the number of captain slots to eight.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

City Council Candidate to Voters: Let Your Voice Be Heard

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

It is very important for the citizens of Paterson to participate in local city-wide elections because elected officials can help determine the economic, educational and social well-being of entire communities. For example, two very important tasks of city council members include making laws and allocating money.

Elected officials are the gatekeepers for millions of dollars in ...

Dreams for Service Dog for Autistic Montville Resident Become Reality

February 22, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - Faith Stanley, a Towaco resident and a single mother of four boys, sought help for her youngest son, Joey, who is almost three years old and diagnosed with autism. Amazingly enough, Faith found the help she needed!

Due to the generosity and help of so many people, Faith has managed to reach her goal of raising ...

Paterson Hosts Statewide Event as National El Sistema Leader

February 22, 2018

PATERSON—On March 10, nearly 300 students from seven New Jersey immersive ensemble music learning programs will converge in Paterson for the 4th annual Fiddlefest and Falala Festival. A day of music making and a celebration of culture and community for both the students and their families, the festival features the Paterson-based program Paterson Music Project (PMP), in addition to the New ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...