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Readers debate Manpower at Ridgewood PD


file photo by Boyd Loving

Readers debate Manpower at Ridgewood PD

The PD manpower is very low, there are several employees eligable to retire at anytime. Minimum manpower on patrol is down to 4 patrol man and 1 supervisor to cover the entire town, that’s from Goffle and rock north to goffle and lake st all the way to the Paramus and Washington twp border near immaculate heart.and down into the lawns by Hawes school including the easternmost area east of Van Emburg. Pretty thin don’t you think? 1 domestic dispute and your down to one person on the road and do not be bamboozeled by the response “you got lots of inside people” they aren’t there any more,they have been eliminated through attrition, retirements, and a firing. 4 men assigned to the bureau, who don’t work 24/7 . The town needs to hire police officers now.

That depends on who does the staffing plan. People with no law enforcement experience, bean counters who work in the corporate world have no business dictating or recommending police staffing levels, there are actual facts, the state police ucr staffing report, which recommends 56 officers for Ridgewood the matrix report which say 44 officers as a minimum staffing level, and that came from a company that was hired by a previous coucil, also the department roster level of the rest of the PD’s in Bergen county, last check had Ridgewood at the lowest officer per resident rate in Bergen. The collective bargaining agreement has already been modified thru PBA cooperation to reduce starting salaries, and lower longevity payment, and lower capped sick time accumulation for new hires, yet the town has failed to take action and rehire. Who is the tiger tean and what are their qualifications to make recommendations as to how many police are necessary to protect the village.

If that is correct, it will be confirmed when a long-term staffing evaluation/plan is done. Right now, we have no actual facts to support whether we are under-staffed or over-staffed in a particular department. By creating efficiencies through other ideas proposed in the report, we may find that historical staffing needs no longer apply. We should get this comprehensive evaluation completed quickly to understand our actual staffing needs in the future. When employees retire, we definitely need to proceed with caution before deciding to hire a replacement.

Last i looked the village had 44 police officers, what do they all do?

The police department may be properly staffed. The staffing plan that the tiger team recommended does not appear to be about reducing staffing arbitrarily. From what I read, they recommended getting an understanding of pending retirements and what the necessary staffing levels in all departments should be. I don’t think they are suggesting that they should perform that evaluation. It stands to reason that any evaluation would need to involve input from appropriate personnel from the each department, who understand the needs. Of course, in the case of the police, the state UCR report is probably not the definitive reference for staffing needs in Ridgewood. I think it offers more of a guideline based on historical practices, which may or may not reflect the specific needs in Ridgewood. Nor does it take into account the long term cost of its staffing guidelines in a particular municipality, which is the most important consideration. It is quite possible that existing contracts can create a cost structure that limits potential staffing options.

The bottom line is that there are about 275 employees in town and the police are only 16% of them. Rather than laying off newer employees (as Gabbert’s budget proposes) to cut expenses, the Village should try to take advantage of normal attrition (retirement) to reduce costs according to a thoughtful plan. If a department is properly staffed or understaffed, then such a plan should have no impact or may even point to increased staffing in that department. Accordingly, this is something that employees should encourage, not resist.

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22 thoughts on “Readers debate Manpower at Ridgewood PD

  1. There are a few simple ways to get the coverage we need. Officers should work 8 hour shifts, 5 days a week. Currently they work 12 hour shifts with the number of days varying per week. I cannot imagine any officer being ‘sharp’ after working 10-12 hours. Do we really need a ‘full squad’ of officers on the road from 2am-7am? How many supervisors do we need? Officers are needed on the road, to answer calls. Not needed ‘inside’ . Any time I have gone to the PD there are least TWO officers (a patrolman and a supervisor) sitting at ‘the desk’. A civilian employee could handle the ‘walk ins’ and if necessary, an officer could be called to HQ. So just that would put 2 more able bodies ‘on the road’. The police have generous salaries. This isnt the south bronx. I saw an officer doing a ‘side’ job with PSEG the other day. His personal car was a Big GMC SUV. I’m sure he’s paid well to afford a 50k car. Reality is using LAST years #s, we have patrolman with a BASE salary of over 127k. Sgt over 140k etc etc. With the ‘side jobs’ ($85 per hour PSEG type ‘work’) its been said that more than a few made over $200k the past few years. Not a bad deal here in suburbia.

  2. Village police dept. is a joke, other than making money at so called construction sites what the hell do they do?

  3. Why even put this topic up here?? The town cares more about lights on fields, then your public safety. Nothing’s gonna happen so who cares??

  4. One would think that a patrolman could make decision, without having to ask a Seargent, who asks a Leutenant, who asks a Captain, who then asks the Chief. Way too much ‘brass’ here.

  5. the 12 hr schedule increased available manpower and cut overtime because overtime starts after 12 hrs instead of 8, you now only have to cover 2 shifts insted of 3, when the cops were on 8 hr shifts before 1995 the ot was well over 100,000 dollars for the year, and the cops made way less per hour. Try the same thing now without hiring alot more people and the overtime bill would go through the roof. And jjj still displays his deep rooted dislike for the cops as well as seemingly all government. Jealosy and envy eat you up from the inside out it’s a very unhealthy mindset.

  6. #5 not anti government or in the least bit jealous just basing my thoughts on what i see in the village and what a good amount of what others also have to say including village employees. Also i have no deep rooted dislike of the police. Do i now get a bill from your know it all consultation?

  7. no bill #6 this ones for free. but you should really see someone to help you out.

  8. The reason the town went to 12 hour shifts was to please the PBA so all the cops who wanted to work side jobs could do so. There is no need to have a full ‘squad’ on from midnite to 8am. Also shifts should have 6-2 instead of 4-12 with overlaps. But when you have a union calling the shots, its not going to happen. I wouldnt want to ask someone in their 10th/11th/12th hour of a shift to be able to be ‘sharp’. I’d be unable to keep my eyes open.

  9. Well #8…let’s just hope that between midnight-8…you don’t need the police.

  10. Well #9 if i do, I’ll just call Dunkin Donuts in Midland Park.
    No need to ‘guard’ Van Neste square with the usual 2-3 squad cars when Ridgewood Coffee is closed.

    1. Better there than the backseat of a car behind Starbucks…

  11. try again #8 the town went to 12’s to cut ot and the cops by their own admission went for the schedule so the could have every other weekend off. rather that weekends every 4th month. also there were no side jobs or contractual arrangement in those days, if you couldn’t keep your eyes open for 12 hours you dont belpong on a pd period whether they wor 8’s or 12’s . It is commonplace for cops to work 12 when they have 8 hr schedules , but on a 12 hr chart they do it for straight time not time and 1/2. Get your facts straight.

  12. #11 it was the front seat get your facts straight.

  13. You are very wrong #12. You were probably in grade school when the 12 hr shifts went into effect at the INSISTENCE of the PBA. They convinced then Chief Lou Mader that he would still be able to get the coverage needed, while giving the PBA Union a GIFT. The A/B/C squads rotated monthly so you’re wrong AGAIN about ‘weekends’ off. So get your facts straight. And as for your bs about it being common to work 12 hrs on 8hr shift you’re wrong again. This town never paid much OT. I guess math wasn’t on the civil service test you took.

  14. Keep your eyes open for 12 hours? I’d like to see some of these overweight, out of shape officers pass a fitness test. I hear all the grumbling about how difficult the job is. For the big bucks you would think they would at least stay in shape so they could be called upon to perform the basic duties. I’d like to see that in the next contract. Pass the physical fitness test or you’re out.

  15. And residents wonder whey they get tickets instead of a warnings.

  16. # 14 u r wrong. squads rotated once a month with days off moving forward ie: sun mon) tue,wed, thus fri, sat sun. so #14 add the months up, there you will see how long it took to get weekends off, and i wish I was in grade school. the town paid lots of overtime by the hour, the gross cost was less than today because of a reduced hourly rate. The pba cannot insist on a schedule as according to perc scheduling is a prerogitve of management so you are WAY off base, Chief mader was against the 12 hr schedule until he saw the ot go down. The fact of the matter is the ot. was so I high on 8 hr shifts chief mader dropped the minimum manpower from 5 to 4 men on the road. Get your facts straight.

  17. Well its quite apparent, that in addition to math, spelling was also not on the civil service test. We can get by with fewer officers, with the use of 8 hour shifts, with staggered hours.As far as the comment by #16, you are displaying your piss-poor attitude. I’m guessing you were one of those who used to get beat up in High School, and now that you’re on your ‘power trip’ you can seek revenge. Sporting a crew cut, cargo pants, military boots and mirrored sunglasses makes you look like the overpaid fool that you are. I’ll print/save your comment about tickets/warnings for the next time the contract is negotiated.

  18. I dont get tickets or warnings lol. I park on the street all nite long and never once got a ticket bc u r all sleeping lol.

  19. we park van on street all day we no worry bout no ticket cops no bother us

  20. All I will say is that if I could make over $100,000 for 3 or 4 twelve hour shifts, I would. And judging by the physical fitness ability of some of the officers, I COULD be a police officer in Ridgewood.

  21. t#21 then take the test and get hired ! 19 and 20 are u bragging or complaing? #18 did you take a civil service test if so what for?.

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