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(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) and Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex) sponsored to help laid off police officers is closer to becoming law.
The bill – approved 76-0 by the Assembly in February – was recently released by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
The bill (A-207) would allow county sheriffs to hire – without having to go through a Civil Service list of eligible employees- law enforcement officers that have been laid off by other law enforcement agencies for economic reasons.
The bill would also apply to the nine state colleges or universities and to the three public research universities – Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
“Giving these offices the authority to hire qualified officers without having to go through bureaucratic hurdles is good for the scores of law enforcement officers who have been laid-off in this recession but still want to work policing our streets,” Caputo said. “This has long been available to local and county police with positive benefits. It only makes sense to give counties the same power.”
“Law enforcement officers who have devoted themselves to protecting our safety deserve every option we can give them if they’ve been laid-off amid this economy,” Johnson said. “Since current law already allows municipal police to hire laid-off law enforcement officers without utilizing Civil Service lists, provided the officer left their job in good standing, this is a sensible change.”
“Expanding job options for our laid-off law enforcement officers is simply the right thing to do,” Tucker said. “The need to keep residents safe does not lessen during a recession. Keeping cops on the job is a boon to all our communities.”
The bill was amended by the Senate, so if it clears that house, it will need to return to the Assembly for concurrence before going to the governor.