HOBOKEN - The fight over Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s plan to lay off 18 police officers may have come to an end.
It seems that at this stage all sides are getting what they asked. Mayor Zimmer, Police Chief Anthony Falco, and Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority Carmelo Garcia announced on Friday morning that the city – through a combination of the Housing Authority hiring some officers and retirements of other officers – will be able to avoid the layoffs of all 18 officers.
According to Zimmer, her administration and Falco have also developed a new redeployment plan, which will increase the number of police assigned to the streets by 38 percent, from 72 to 99 officers. This may lay to rest fears raised by opponents of the layoffs that a diminished police presence on the city’s streets will make them less safe.
The demotions of 19 other officers are scheduled to proceed in early December. However, the layoffs of 18 other city employees became effective on Friday. The mayor thanked those workers for their work at the beginning of a press briefing on the steps of City Hall on Friday morning.
Through an agreement with the Housing Authority, which would hire five officers to work an overnight shift at the HHA buildings, as well as accepting retirements and commitments to retire from other officers, the layoffs will be avoided and still save, in the long term, at least $2.5 million from the budget.
The HHA agreement needs to be approved by the City Council on Oct. 6.
According to a release, the remaining layoffs of 13 officers will be postponed until Dec. 2, and will be cancelled if the expected retirements occur on that date.
Read more about this story in this weekend’s Hoboken Reporter.