Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Furloughed NJ Police Officers Remain Unemployed

Union Leader Warns of 'Riots in the Streets' 
     Throughout New Jersey, a total of 705 police officers laid off since January have been unable to find work in law enforcement again, according to a survey conducted by the State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, the state’s largest police union. The survey includes all officers, not just those represented by the union, according to the Star-Ledger.
     This month, Trenton laid off 105 of its city police officers, a third of the force. Police forces in other economically depressed large cities have suffered a similar fate. In Camden, more than half of the 93 total officers laid off earlier this year haven’t found new jobs in law enforcement, said the local police union president John Williamson.
     Last month, Williamson sounded an alarming tone by warning of possible riots in the streets if more officers were not rehired. Williamson said he stands by those words today. "This is not fear mongering," he told the Star -Ledger. "Based on my observations and history in the U.S. and in the world, where people feel desperate and impoverished, they tend to let out their frustrations."
     In Paterson, only a handful of their 125 officers laid off in April have found police jobs, according to state PBA figures. Atlantic City police appears to be the only bright spot; it hired back 57 of the 60 officers laid off last year.
     "It’s indicative of how bad the economy is that more of these officers haven’t been able to find jobs," James Stewart Jr., vice president for Newark’s Fraternal Order of Police, told the Star-Ledger. "There aren’t too many cities that wouldn’t otherwise welcome these fully-trained men and women in the prime of their careers."

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