City plans to layoff 36; some police
Unions felt undermined; lied to by administration
As you read earlier – the city of Hoboken today announced they are submitting recommendations for citywide layoffs – including 18 police officers.
The unions representing the Hoboken Police were not too pleased with the latest turn of events – calling it the “lowest of the low” and “underhanded,” and that the city wasn’t being truthful when they said the unions were notified.
In a three hour meeting with city officials, Union reps said that the city didn’t mention the upcoming layoff announcement once.
The attorney who represents both Hoboken Police Unions, D. B. Ross, Jr. explains:
City wants layoffs; pending state approval
Today, the city is announced their plans to reduce the municipal budget by laying off 36 employees – including 18 from the Police Department. Part of this plan includes “civilian” members of the Police Department.
Note that the City is basing these police layoffs on an audit from the NJ Division of Local Government Services – ignoring the 150 page analysis of the audit that the Hoboken PBA presented to the administration recently.
More to come on this breaking story…
Read Press Release from City Hall after the jump
City Press Release
As the City of Hoboken moves forward to address its financial challenges while ensuring that the City’s public safety and quality of life are protected, the Zimmer Administration today announced the proposed layoffs of 36 employees. If approved by the State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission, the personnel changes are projected to save taxpayers a net $2.5 million per year.
Recommendations for 36 layoffs of employees will be submitted for approval to the Civil Service Commission. This includes 18 layoffs from the Police Department that will occur after 19 senior officers are demoted. An additional 18 layoffs are planned in other departments within the Administration.
“As we make this difficult decision, my Administration is committed to protecting the public safety of our community,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who is working closely with Police Chief Falco. “Through redeployment and civilianization, there will be no reduction in the number of patrol officers policing Hoboken’s streets.”
The police reductions are informed by the findings of the Police Department audit prepared by the State of New Jersey, Division of Local Government Services (“DLGS”) as well as recommendations by Arch Liston, the City’s Business Administrator, who has 25 years of experience in public safety. The DLGS audit found that the Police Department “contained more superior officers than was necessary to maintain essential police services” and that “more patrol officers can be placed on the street” by civilianizing several positions.
The City’s proposed demotions reflect the DLGS audit which recommended that the superior officer structure be modified from 1 Chief, 4 Captains, 18 Lieutenants and 30 Sergeants to 1 Chief, 3 Captains, 12 Lieutenants and 26 Sergeants.
“Layoffs create real hardship for employees and their families, and I recognize that this decision has serious consequences for them,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The individuals affected are hardworking public servants who are victims of a fiscal climate not of their own making. This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision that had to be made, and my Administration proceeded with extreme care to ensure that we have a responsible plan.”
“We have a responsibility to use our resources more efficiently,” added Mayor Zimmer. “By civilianizing non-police functions and moving Police from behind desks and out on our streets, we can improve efficiency and maintain the exceptional level of public safety our Police Department has always provided our community.”