NEWARK – Against the backdrop of a city that saw more than 160 police officers laid off earlier this year, and shootings increase in the aftermath, Gov. Chris Christie said today he doubts there’s going to be any political reprisals for state budget cuts he made.
“We are not responsible for making these choices at the municipal level,” Christie said. “They (the municipalities) now have to choose how to spend the money.”
He said the police layoffs were more the result of a lack of cooperation or compromise from police union officials, who refused to provide any “givebacks,” choosing instead to go forward with layoffs.
“They have decided to give a hard line instead,” Christie said today after signing a tax credit bill into law. “They want to fight instead of compromising.”
The state’s biggest and most dangerous cities, including Newark, Camden and Plainfield, have seen spikes in crime during the long, hot summer, as many police officers were laid off due to budget cuts.
Just last week, however, Gov. Chris Christie announced he was willing to restore $139 million in Transitional Aid so long as the Democrats agree to set aside funding for accountability.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker, on hand for the bill signing, did not respond publicly.