First Assistant Attorney General
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
P.O. Box 080
Trenton, NJ 08625
Thank you again for your generous time yesterday in discussing my concerns about the conflicting language between New Jersey law and the federal law H.R. 218, "The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of2004", as it relates to the possession of hollow point bullets.
As we discussed, federal law permits a retired law enforcement officer to carry any ammunition not prohibited by federal law (18 U.S.C. §926B (e)(2)). While it appears that H.R.
218 was designed to supersede State laws in this regard, the existence and enforcement of State law on hollow point bullets is of significant concern to active and retired members of the law enforcement community...... for full text - click here
The Honorable Jeff Chiesa
State of New Jersey
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
P.O. Box 080
Trenton, NJ 08625
Dear Attorney General Chiesa:
I wanted to take this opportunity to follow up on a phone conversation I had yesterday with Tom Calcagni regarding my concern with the placement of armed retired police officers in schools in the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Connecticut.
It has come to my attention that school districts across New Jersey are planning on hiring retired police officers to be present in their schools and to carry firearms under the auspices of State law and the Federal law known as H.R. 218. While I believe that having law enforcement in school serves a great public safety and educational benefit, I am concerned that retired officers could be utilized inappropriately and without proper training. As I discussed with Tom, I believe it is important that the Attorney General issue directives to County Prosecutors and local government on what the rules are in these circumstances........
to continue reading- click here
The Honorable Jeffrey S. Chiesa
State ofNew Jersey
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
P.O. Box 080
Trenton, NJ 08625
Dear Attorney General Chiesa:
On behalf of the 33,000 member New Jersey State PBA, and specifically the men and women of the Trenton Police Department, I am writing to express our significant disappointment and anger at the recent disbanding of the specialty crime units in the Trenton Police Department.
In 2011, when Mayor Mack proposed laying off 111 Trenton police officers I predicted that crime would rise and officers would be put in danger. Since that time my concerns have been validated and the criminal element has taken advantage of the situation. According to the
2011 Uniform Crime Report, murder, rape, robbery and burglary are all on the rise. Gang and
drug activity have escalated and are spilling into surrounding communities. Officers who were patrolling the streets were pushed off the comers by threats of gang retaliation. They have been shot at while sitting in their patrol cars. Add to all this that the City has a Mayor who is under federal indictment and the Police Department has a Director whose every decision makes the situation worse...
Proposed Camden layoffs raises more questions than answers
After more than a year of discussion and back room debates, the Mayor of the City of Camden last night announced her intention to issue layoff notices to the entire Camden Police Department so that the County may take over policing the City. The proposed Camden County Metro Police Department would be established to take over policing in the City, possibly by the start of 2013. The new County police force would be started from scratch but under the law, no more than 49% of the Camden police department could be hired as a part of the new County police.
The discussions on the takeover of the City police department has been a joint effort by the City Camden and Christie Administration. The county has so far hired 2 different consultants to push the plan forward. However, despite the announcement, the proposal is so far full of holes and questions. For one, the proposed policing plan calls for up to 400 officers to patrol Camden. No one disputes the need for maximum staffing levels in Camden, yet it remains unclear how the new Department will be funded. The County government insists that no county dollars will be required and county taxpayers won’t be forced to pay for police in Camden. Yet, unless the City and State pick up the tab, there is no way an entire police department can be created from the ground up without infusion of county revenue.
County leaders insist that savings will be found in the writing of a new contract and benefit structure but no documents have been provided to the PBA outlining how much savings really exist and how it is possible a "similar" salary structure (as County officials insists they will offer to new officers) will result in hiring 400 cops. There is concern that whatever new contract is developed if the Department is created will provide substantially less financial incentive to patrol Camden every day. Other substantial policy and law enforcement operations questions remain unanswered.
The State PBA has been represented on the working group appointed to study the proposal. Unfortunately, none of this latest information was shared with the PBA and a requested agenda for today's County meeting was never provided to us for our review despite our participation in the working group. Further discussions and requests for information are underway but the State PBA is extremely disappointed with the County over the manner in which this was rolled out considering the good faith efforts made to work together on a policy discussion of this magnitude.
Finally, no other local government in Camden County has expressed an interest in the proposed Camden County Metro Police. The design of the Department, as well as the proposed staffing levels appears to make it unlikely that even if a town asked for police services from the County that this County Police force could even do the job.
In the end, more questions have been raised by the Mayors announcement than local officials there have provided answers.
Letter to all PBA Members from Brother Norcross
Attached is a letter that was sent to State PBA by Richard Norcross (retired - Detective from the Haddon Heights PD) who was shot five times in a standoff in Camden County in 1995. Rich’s brother (Officer John Norcross- Haddon Heights PD) was killed that day along with Investigator John McLaughlin from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office..... click here for the letter in .pdf format.
PBA President Comments on Senate move on Disability Pension bill
The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee will meet on June 7th to consider Senate Bill 1913 (Sweeney), a bill whose goal is to reduce disability benefits for officers involved in traumatic events or serious illness. The State PBA has spoken often, most recently before the Senate State Government Committee, about the need to reform the accidental disability law since the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of weakening the standard to qualify. We have proposed an alternative to tighten the standard, enhance fraud detection efforts and require continued medical review for those awarded disability pensions. The State PBA proposal would solve the problems existing in disability pension approvals while ensuring that every officer has a safety net of an ordinary or accidental disability. Senate Bill 1913 does not solve the problem as our analysis shows.
It has become clear, unfortunately, that today’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing on the bill will be nothing more than an effort to go through the motions to take testimony before releasing the legislation. Since our position has not changed on how to solve this problem and since we recently addressed this concern in the Senate, I have decided not to testify publicly today. Instead I have provided the Committee Members with a detailed report on Senate Bill 1913 and our efforts to reform disability pensions properly without cutting benefits or reducing eligibility for them. We are actively working with Democrats and Republicans to develop a meaningful bill on disability pensions and the issue will remain a major State PBA priority until the Legislature gets it right.
Rob Nixon's 2012 Mini Convention reports
Anyone wishing to download Rob's report on the Sick Leave
Bills and the IRS early retirement rules - click here
The N.J. State P.B.A. has filed suit:
On March 29th, the NJ State PBA filed a lawsuit concerning Chapter 78 in State Superior Court in Mercer County. For your copy of the lawsuit that was filed on behalf of all Members - clcik here
NEW INFO REGARDING CHAPTER 78 Phase in for New Hires:
We have been receiving numerous inquiries with regards to the effect of the implementation of the Chapter 78 phase in on new hires.
Please take note of the following scenarios:
- An existing employee as of June 28, 2011 who has a CNA that expired after 6/28/2011 follows their contract until it expires and then begins the four year Phase-In.
- An existing employee as of June 28, 2011 who has a CNA that expired prior to 6/28/2011 begins the first year phase in under Chapter 78.
- A new employee hired after 6/28/2011 who has a CNA that expires after 6/28/2011 follows the CAN until it expires and upon expiration, begins the Ch. 78 Phase-In.
- A new employee hired after 6/28/2011 who has a CNA that expired before 6/28/2011 pays the full fourth year phase in under Ch. 78.
Exception: if an employee is hired the day after a CNA expires, the employee contributes at the Year 1 phase-in rate (this employee is considered an existing employee on the day the c.78 health care contribution commences).
I hope that this brings some clarification to this confusing situation.
In order to assist you with employers who do not understand the implementation for new hires, please refer them to Local finance Notice 2011-20R available at the web site listed below.
IMPORTANT Consent Decree Update
The information provided below is from the NJ Civil Service Commission regarding the proposed Consent Decree. Be advised that you can access the information in the green box below (2011 Police Sergeant Consent Decree) by clicking on any of the topics. Some of the items are time/date sensitive, so please read thoroughly.
The Fairness Hearing will be held on March 12, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., at the Martin Luther King Building and United States Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey 07101. You have the right to attend this Fairness Hearing.
Star Ledger Refuses to Tell Real Disability Story
A recent Star Ledger story on the Chairman of the PFRS Board of Trustees doesn’t tell the true story about disability pensions in New Jersey. Unfortunately, the editor of the Star Ledger has advised us that he refuses to run the following Op Ed piece to address what the story left out. I think it is important that the media state the facts when discussing a serious issue like this and so I am sharing with you what the Ledger, for whatever reason, doesn’t want the public to know:
NJ State Health Benefit Plan * NEW INFORMATION *
Yesterday, the State Health Benefits Commission approved the recommendations of the Design Committee. The new plans are being introduced that created a higher deductible PPO and HMO. Please read this thoroughly, I have included links to the rate charts and other useful information about the plans and the changes.
Also, there have been many questions about the implementation of the second year phase in for the employee contribution. According to the Local finance Notice of July 25, 2011, units that did were not in contract on the effective date of the bill will begin the second step of the phase in on July 1, 2012.
Please caution your members about the potentially tremendous liability in the high deductible plans (HDHP’s) as there can be a very large out of pocket deductible before there is any coverage.
Open enrollment will be from October 17th through November 11th.
Please call me with any questions.
Kevin C. Lyons, Sr.
STATE PBA FILES LAWSUIT TO CHALLENGE PENSION/BENEFIT LAW
The New Jersey State PBA and the New Jersey State FMBA, joined by other public employee unions, today filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the recently enacted pension and health benefit law. This filing is a necessary first step to raising serious constitutional questions with the law.
However, we respect that many in our State, including our own members, are still suffering the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. It would not be appropriate to make grand statements about this process now and we will not be issuing any further comment at this time.
In the meantime, the State PBA, State FMBA and our members will continue, as we do no matter what, serving the people of New Jersey when they need us most.
TO READ A COPY OF THE COMPLAINT ................. CLICK HERE
Pension and Health Benefit Change Facts
As reviewed at the July meeting of the State Board of Delegates. to download in Adobe .pdf format - click here
Youtube video from Paterson PBA Local #1
State PBA hits Gannett and politicians on inciting the public against the police
- Anthony F. Wieners, State PBA President
The Gannett News Sunday story on police salaries was disappointing and intentionally designed to turn the public against its police officers. The fact that the story was written barely two weeks since Officer Chris Matlosz was assassinated while on patrol is insulting to every cop in the State. The article is based on the premise that cops in NJ are "overpaid". Let me ask instead, what's the "going rate" to be a police officer? What's the fair market private sector value of an officer who is killed, seriously injured or who deals with the worst of society? Just because every town doesn't have a cop killed though doesn't mean police don't regularly deal with serious or dangerous crimes the public never hears about. What's the "price" we should be paid to intervene in a chaotic domestic dispute or tell a parent their child is dead or walk up to a car at night not knowing if there is danger behind tinted glass. The crime rate is rising in every region of the State due to the bad economy and a loss of police officers. Plus with the State Police Gang report showing that over 1/2 of NJ towns have gangs a cut in police presence should concern citizens everywhere. These rising crime stats have nothing to do with what the “average” cop in the State makes a year.......... click here to continue reading
PFRS Legislative Overview
Proposed Pension Reforms Overview
15 FEB 2011
This video is a must watch for all members and public employees.
Watch till the end.
NJSPBA at the Unity Tour and Police Week in Washington, DC
For a photo journal including the Rose Garden Ceremony with our TOP COP recipients with the President of the United States - click here
STATEMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ON POLICE SERGEANT LAWSUIT
March 9, 2010
The United States Department of Justice filed a suit in federal court alleging that the New Jersey Civil Service examination used to test for promotion to Police Sergeant was discriminatory. However, contrary to recent communications circulated among law enforcement personnel, at this point in time, no decisions have been made with respect to changes in test format or test content.
In particular, we are aware of at least one entity that has made a claim that the 2010 Police Sergeant exam will be similar to a product being offered for sale. This claim is purely speculative and does not stem from any decisions made by or information provided by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission.
The New Jersey Civil Service Commission plans to issue an announcement for Police Sergeant in July of 2010 and anticipates testing in the fall. When decisions are made with respect to test content or format, information regarding these changes will be published on the Commission’s website, www.state.nj.us/csc and will also be provided to PBA leadership. While the decisions to attend test preparation classes and study group sessions are purely personal, the Civil Service Commission wants you to make those decisions based on facts and not on speculation.
- Keith Dunn, NJ State PBA
to read the NJDOP letter - click here
INFORMATION, ESTIMATES, AND APPLICATION
IRS PENSION FIGHT
State PBA activity on IRS rule regarding Public Safety Employee retirement age.
for all the latest - please click here
Important new information from Wendy Jamison, Secretary for the Board of PFRS
on training requirements to be met to
remain in the System.
Middletown Twp PBA Local No.124 has won an important victory for all of us before the NJ Supreme Court on Health Benefits regarding entitlement of medical benefits with 25 years PFRS and less than 25 years of service in one municipality. - click here
CHRISTIE TRANSITION TEAM REPORTS
SOUTH AMBOY PBA DECISION ON RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS - click here
An Edison company is being sued by the Federal Trade Commission on charges of misleading the public.
A Milwaukee-based firm paid $200,000 in May to settle lawsuits by 33 state regulators alleging it used lies and exaggerations to get people to donate money.
An Arizona outfit recently paid $30,000 to settle a lawsuit by the Iowa attorney general accusing it of deceptive fund-raising practices.
What do they all have in common?
If you get a call asking for a donation to a police organization in New Jersey, the odds are good that someone from one of these firms is on the other end of the line.