Mayor Zimmer claims that the termination of 18 police officers and demotion of 19 police supervisors will not affect public safety. The Mayor is flat-out wrong! Her plan will result in 18 fewer police officers on patrol. It’s that simple! The Mayor's police layoff plan will have a demonstrable negative effect on some (if not all) of the following police services:
• No Police Officers available to patrol our city's public schools as part of the "School Resource Officers" program. No more D.A.R.E. training in schools.
• No Juvenile Aide Officer or P.A.L. program.
• Absolutely no future manpower available for Walking Patrol Officers.
• Delayed Investigative Services for special criminal investigations.
• No undercover street patrol cops to thwart criminal activity and catch predators.
• Reduced undercover narcotics officers to combat illegal drug sales and usage.
• 18 fewer officers to visibly deter crime, respond to citizens' emergencies and calls for service.
• Complete gridlock with fewer officers assigned to Traffic Duties during rush-hour commuting.
• Hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in overtime cost, due to manpower shortages.
According to the "2005 City-used Census" Hoboken had 39,853 residents - all would agree that that number is closer to 50,000 today. The cost saving of the mayor’s police layoffs, based upon the above census, equates to about eight cents a day, per person. That’s all your safety is worth to Mayor Zimmer.
Mayor Zimmer claims that these layoffs are necessary to provide tax relief. She must be getting pretty desperate, because she promised to cut taxes 25% when she ran for mayor and hasn’t delivered anything. Yet, the city has a budget surplus of nearly $20 million! Gutting our police department is completely unnecessary, given this massive budget surplus.
What will Mayor Zimmer do when crime increases because of her layoff gamble and our city slides backwards to an era when it was not so safe, and not such a great place to live and raise a family? What will Zimmer do when condo sales and apartment rentals languish and renters flee the city for safer communities? What will Zimmer do or say when citizens become prisoners in their own homes and fear to walk the streets for worry of being victimized?
In short and in summary, the Mayor's Police Layoff Plan is a complete lose-lose situation for property owners, renters, businesses, visitors and commuters.
Unfortunately, and perhaps most disturbingly, Mayor Zimmer has total support from the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Councilman Ravi Bhalla, and Council members Michael Lenz, Carol Marsh, David Mello and Peter Cunningham, to fire 18 of your police protectors!
Contact Mayor Zimmer and city council representatives and insist that they STOP gambling with your safety and security and end this insanity. The life you save may be your own.
Vince Lombardi, President
Hoboken Policemen’s Benevolent Association
NJ State PBA Local 2