The local daily newspaper recently ran a headline on March 17th proclaiming the budget cuts were being planned for the Jersey City Police Department.
While the City needs to watch how every dollar is spent in these tough economic times, there is never a need to attempt to “balance the budget” on the backs of the public safety concerns of our citizens. A 5 percent cutback in resources allocated to the Police Department, as the article alluded, is absolutely not necessary.
What is necessary is a better accounting of how the Jersey City Police Department does, in fact, spend the tax dollars that are allotted to it. The safety of the people in Jersey City must come first. And a more efficiently run Police Department is the key to achieving that result. We must stop the pork barrel spending. Crime is on the increase, and more emphasis must be put on stopping crime where it happens – on the streets.
We currently have over 100 detectives making over $90,000 a year, and 135 sergeants in the same pay range or greater. It is time for the Police Department to freeze promotions. It is high time to reassign more police to patrol the streets so as to help deter crime and apprehend criminals. For example, how often does one see two or three officers standing around a construction site, rather than walking a beat? Why can’t crossing guards be enlisted to monitor those construction sites as a savings to the taxpayers? To utilize them in this capacity would free up countless police officers to patrol the streets and make Jersey City safer.
We do not need to cut personnel, we just need to cut pork barrel spending. And having Jersey City’s Finest show more police visibility on the streets, rather than at desk jobs, would go a long way to accomplish that objective.
Candidate for Council At Large