Vineland may lay off some 20 police officers

July 29, 2010 3:26:02 PM PDT
Police officers in Vineland, New Jersey could be the next to fall victim to hard economic times.

So far this year, Vineland Police have answered 40,000 calls. It's a hefty number for a force of 150 officers.

However, unless budget issues are resolved and, according to the city's mayor, the police officers make concessions, 20 of them will be laid off.

"We're just asking the police department to do their share and give a little back to the city," said Mayor Robert Romano.

Mayor Romano, who was himself a police officer for 34 years, says freezing wages and forgoing uniform allowances are two ways that can help make up for the budget shortfall. He's also hoping to have $1.2 million in urban enterprise funds returned from the state.

"The governor has already approved it for Millville, so I don't think it'll be a problem for Vineland, but it's still not a done deal," said Mayor Romano.

Vineland is raising taxes 8 cents. That's equals $80 a year for a $100,000 home.

The city's 700+ non-uniformed workers are being forced to take 12 furlough days a year to cut costs.

The police department is not commenting, but the PBA has said accusations that its not cooperating are false.

Meanwhile, layoff notices have been signed and are currently sitting on the chief's desk, yet to be handed out.

There is a meeting set for Monday afternoon between the mayor along with the PBA and its attorney. Both sides are hopeful that they can reach a reasonable agreement and avert any layoffs.

If not, the ax could fall in September.


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