The state police officers union is protesting the tax cap signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon, saying the 2 percent cap on property tax increases will put the public at risk.
In a statement from union president Anthony Wieners, the new Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association said the cap will result in massive layoffs that will hinder the police from perfomring basic duties.
“We are experiencing unprecedented layoffs with a 4% cap but the new 2% cap has no exception for public safety costs and I expect we are going to see massive layoffs soon that will impact both proactive and reactive law enforcement services.”
Wieners said departments statewide have laid off some 700 officers and another 1,500 have retired, leaving the ranks dangerously thin.
“Our members are very concerned that they will not be able to respond to calls for help or to provide backup for themselves under this new cap law,” Wierners said, going on to accuse the governor of pandering to the media and others instead of looking out for the people he serves. “Trenton needs to act to fix this serious problem and not one of my members had better come into harm’s way because this cap led to a loss of equipment, manpower or training.”
As he has with the teachers union, which has attacked Christie’s fiscal plans with a vengeance, the governor was quick to dismiss the police union official as “alarmist.”
“We have among the highest paid public employees in New Jersey in the ranks of police, firefighters, teachers and others. And that’s not counting rich pensions and benefits which also rank among the highest.,” said Christie-spokesman Mike Drewniak. “It’s time to bring reason to a salary and benefits system we can no longer afford. There is a bipartisan consensus in this regard. Without reforms, without limitations, towns and cities will find the delivery of all manner of services more expensive and harder to deliver.”