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News

State PBA President Comments on Atlantic City Takeover

The Governor's reported announcement today that he will appoint an Emergency Manager to take over operations of Atlantic City are both unnecessary and disturbing.

Atlantic City does not need an Emergency Manager to guide it through this difficult period.  The Managers to be appointed are not there for their economic development vision or their insight on how to rebuild the City into a year round resort.  They have been appointed simply to slash the City Budget and to give the Governor the hatchet men he needs to further ruin anyone who dares to make working for the public their career.

Mayor Guardian doesn't need someone to do his job for him.  He is exactly the right man for the job and he has proven that he has vision, passion and the belief in the City and its people that Atlantic City can be restored to greatness with a little help, not interference, from the Governor.

The State PBA urges the Emergency Managers to look at how well the Atlantic City Police Department operates before accepting any of the Hanson Commission recommendations to dismantle it.  Quite simply, the dedicated men and women of the ACPD have built long standing relationships with their residents and community. Officers have worked hard to slash the crime rates, reduce violent crime and seize illegal guns all while working with nearly 100 officers less than when the Governor took office.  The Atlantic City PBA has also agreed to numerous concessions to the City and have been working hand in hand with Mayor Guardian to assist in filling his budget hole.

They are a huge success story and should never be compared to the Camden Police Department.  The truth needs to be told about the Camden Metro Police once and for all.  There is no such thing as a "Camden County" Police Department.  Camden Metro only patrols Camden City and no other Camden County community wants or participates in any part of it.  It is not paid for by Camden County but instead uses tens of millions of dollars in State funds in a three card monte game to hide from State taxpayers how much of their money is being used just to bust a union and its contract.

If Atlantic City received a fraction of support from the State that Camden does, that the Mayor has been repeatedly begging to get, we would be talking about the recovery that started yesterday and not about an emergency today.

View Official Release Here

Funeral Arrangements for Det. John Scott Stevens, Local 171

PBA Local 171, Ocean County Prosecutor’s regret to announce the tragic death of Special Operation Group Detective John Scott Stevens. His death is the result of an on duty motor vehicle crash on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Det. Stevens would have served fifteen years this April with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 4-8 pm at St. Mary of the Pines
100 Bishop Way Manahawkin NJ

Funeral is Wednesday, Jan. 28. (Scott's birthday)
St. Mary of the Pines at 10:30 am, burial to follow at Good Luck Cemetery, Lanoka Harbor.

Further information about muster will be provided when it is available.

View Additional Information Here

Tags: Local 171
Training Class for Local PBA Presidents

Attention Local Presidents!

The State PBA will conduct a training class for Local PBA presidents on Thursday, March 12, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.  The class will be at the State PBA, 158 Main Street, Woodbridge, NJ.  If you are interested in attending, please send an e-mail to info@njspba.com with your name and local information.  Class is limited to 40 people.

Important Message to the Membership of the NJSPBA: Governor’s Upcoming State Address

Dear Members,
 
Very shortly, the Governor will begin his State of the State address.  We are expecting that the Governor will propose significant further pension and healthcare reductions. We believe that the formal report of the Governor's Pension Commission will be released very soon to support the Governor's expected message today.
 
It is important for you to know that we are aware of the content of the report and we have had the opportunity to respond to what we feel are the inaccuracies and shortcomings of the report. We are also well aware that due to the time constraints imposed on them by the Governor that the Commission's work, unfortunately, is not completely done and will not specifically discuss the health of PFRS. It also does not address the simple fact that the vast majority of PFRS is funded by Local and County Government, a position that the NJ League of Municipalities wholeheartedly agrees.
 
In the 2012 State of the State, Governor Christie proudly proclaimed “we saved their pensions”. He added; “Our pension system, which was on a path to insolvency, is now on much more sound footing. With your help, we tackled the problem head on." It was a success he shouted on the national stage for years after.  He has repeatedly called Chapter 78 his crowning bipartisan achievement.

I would expect this Governor will again today tout the bipartisan pension reform from 2011. But his reflections on Chapter 78 mask his own deliberate acts to destroy pensions as we know them.  I would like to remind everybody that in 2014 the Governor declared parts of his reforms "illegal" in the State's own legal briefs responding to our pension lawsuit. The former Federal Prosecutor, the attorney, the Governor who signed that law declared his obligation to make a pension payment to be "illegal" and unenforceable. He also vetoed bipartisan legislation that would have required our additional contributions required by Chapter 78 to actually go back into PFRS where they belong. He has proven time and time again that he wants our system to fail.
 
This unfortunately is the kind of bait and switch we have come to expect from Governor Christie's "promises".  Based on our recent meetings and our experience with the Administration there is nothing in the Governor's speech or in the anticipated Pension Commission report that surprises us.  We must remember that we are little more than pawns in the Governor's mission to become a candidate for national office.  He is not interested in the facts, in the reality of how PFRS works or in living up to his commitments.
 
Needless to say, there is absolutely no higher priority on our agenda.
 
Sincerely,
 
Patrick Colligan

New Pension Seminars are Available

January 13, 2015 from 10:00am to 12 noon at the Secaucus Public Library

January 20, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Best Western Hotel in West Hampton Twp, Burlington County

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February 2, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the North Italy Club Vineland, NJ

February  12 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the Monmouth County Police Academy

February  12 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Toms River Twp. Police Department

February  17 from 10:00 am to 12 noon at the NJSPBA Office

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March 10, 2015 from 10:00 am to 12 noon at the Middlesex County Police Academy

March 11, 2015 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the Ocean County Police Academy

Tags: Pension, PFRS
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NJ Cops Magazine

January 2015 Back Issues
Member Login

President's Message

Patrick Colligan, NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan, President Suddenly, we are appreciated again...

Every officer’s worst fear: an ambush attack not only when you would least expect it, but also when you are in the worst position to return fire. Assassinated only for the uniform we all wear and what it represents. Anybody sitting in a patrol car that night could have been his victim. He had ties to Maryland, New Jersey and New York. Two of New York's Finest were laid to rest in the most incredible display of solidarity I have ever witnessed. If you went, you left incredibly humbled. No photograph or video, no poet on earth could possibly even begin to capture the story of those days in New York.

Suddenly, we are appreciated again. Why is it only when we die? How do tremendous feats of bravery go unnoticed almost every day? We fill busses with school supplies, give turkeys to the needy, bring children Christmas shopping, coach our kids, donate our time and often give out of our own pocket to the victims we meet. We truly support our troops; we usually are the troops. We routinely bring people back from death. Just another day at the office for us. Why do those stories end up on page 4 of section 2?

When we are forced to take a life, what is so relevant about our salaries? Hundreds of thousands of us go to work every day, we serve honorably and admirably and are rarely noticed. Two now-famous tragedies out of 12 million arrests last year, and we are all painted in a broad stroke of anti-police sentiment. Before the soil even settles on Detective Ramos and Detective Liu's graves, we will be back in the crosshairs. I guarantee it.

Unfortunately, there are very few “journalists” in the profession anymore. Today's reporters are often paid by the “click” and the amount of comments their web pages generate. Why do some stories stay at the top of a page all day? The answer simply lies in the amount of comments and clicks a story gets. I hope that explains some of the racy headlines lately. It has led to a disgraceful race to post a story and beat the competition.  

If you want to beat the competition you don’t have much time to get the FULL story. No time to waste on checking simple facts or getting some rebuttal. Add a salacious headline, post the story and hope that the public clicks away. Somehow, a five-second search on Data Universe to find our salaries constitutes “research.” What do they do when the action slows down? Revive the clicking with an absolutely riveting “What We Know, What We Don't Know” story three days later. Awesome investigative journalism! Most of the true professionals are gone from the business. We are left with very underpaid, very overanxious and inexperienced journalism students with diplomas still wet with the ink that printed them. I would not expect it to get better anytime soon.  

I've said it to the press and I've said it to hundreds of you. Be proud of what you do every day. Hold your head high. This too shall pass. Few people have the guts to do our job. It's easy to hide behind an anonymous screen name all day and spew bitterness for what we represent every time there is a story about our co-workers or our profession. It doesn't take much skill for a “journalist” to take a non-story and try and spin it for a few extra “clicks” of someone's mouse. Know without any question it is not the mainstream feeling of the citizens we serve.

Please stay safe.

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