JERSEY CITY - Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy was scheduled to swear in 13 new recruits to the Jersey City Police Department on April 30. These 13 officers will offset several pending retirements within the department.
The 13 officers who are joining the department already have law enforcement experience and previously worked for other police forces, including the Paterson Police Department, the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, and the Hudson County Sheriff. The officers, who have already graduated from police academy training, have between two and seven years' of law enforcement experience. They will each need to participate in an accelerated two-week field training program before they are eligible for duty in Jersey City.
"This class of officers presents us with a tremendous opportunity to immediately put 13 new cops on the street and avoid waiting the 6-8 months if they were rookies going to their first police academy," Healy said in a prepared statement. "And, our city benefits from the experience these officers already have under their belts at a tremendous savings to the tax payers."
The addition of these officers will not affect the city's budget, Healy added. The new officers will each earn a starting salary of $45,578. Since January, five senior officers and supervisors - who were at the top end of their respective pay scales - have retired.
"While other municipalities are striving to maintain staffing levels we're proud that during these difficult economic times, due to the shared sacrifice between the police unions and the city, we are able to hire officers to replace the ranks that have been depleted through attrition," said Police Chief Tom Comey.
Crime and public safety have been front burner issues for local residents since the beginning of the year when a spate of crimes and two major fires took place in the city.
In response to concerns from the community, Healy and Comey have held three town hall-style public meetings on crime and public safety throughout different parts of Jersey City. The next meeting is scheduled for Mon., April 30 at 6 p.m. at the Christa McAuliffe School (P.S. 28), at 167 Hancock Ave in the Heights. - E. Assata Wright