NJ Chiefs Use Everything But Bake Sales to Cut Budget Corners


Police chiefs in northern New Jersey are using creative measures in light of budget cuts, reports the Bergen Record. One police chief is organizing a fashion show to save a community policing program. Another hired special officers at $16 an hour to do desk work that had been done by his regulars at more than three times the pay. “I never thought when I went to the police academy that I’d be hosting a fashion show, but we need to do whatever we can,” said Mahwah Chief James Batelli, who has held several fund-raisers already, including one last year with a dinner and raffle for a Mercedes-Benz that raised $18,000 to fund bullying seminars and Internet safety programs.

Other example: Ramsey police now buys ammunition in bulk with other towns. Cresskill has shopped around for cheaper janitorial services. Leonia outsourced communications to Bergen County, and several departments have changed scheduling to avoid overtime. Many departments are simply enduring the hard times.”There’s no alternative except to prioritize what your services are going to be,” said Chief Arthur O’Keefe of Englewood, who said his department cut its drug abuse resistance education program, reduced its juvenile bureau and often takes officers off patrol to work municipal court security. “You end up robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

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