23 laid off Bergen County police officers to join Jersey City Police Department

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23 laid off Bergen County police officers will be hired by the City of Jersey City without having to go through any more formal training, officials said. Jersey City, Bergen police

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The officers, who were laid off from their jobs at the end of June would be eligible to be hired by Jersey City under the Rice Act, without the additional expense of academy training.

Their salaries would be determined on a case by case basis determined by their years of experience.

“Both Bergen County and Jersey City saw this as an opportunity to keep the officers employed, while also continuing to grow the Jersey City Police Department,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.

“We see this as a way to seamlessly add experienced officers to the force, keep the officers employed so they can continue to support their families, and increase public safety in Jersey City.”

Since taking office in July of 2013, Fulop has hired more than 300 new police officers, bringing the department from 779 officers to over 932 officers.

An additional class of 24 officers is also currently in the police academy expected to graduate in September. Fulop has previously said he plans to expand the department further to ultimately reach over 950 officers.

“Despite our best efforts to avoid layoffs and retain every member of the Bureau of Police Services, we were unable to do so after PBA Local 49 rejected a proposal, by a single vote, that would have kept their fellow officers on the job in Bergen County,” explained Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino.

“This partnership with Mayor Fulop and Jersey City makes the best of an unfortunate situation, ensuring impacted officers are employed and have the opportunity to continue in public service. Jersey City families will be well served by these highly trained officers.”

Furthermore, the cost to hire the officers would be covered through the city’s budget and officer attrition.

“While this is certainly a difficult time for the officers and their families, we hope that they will consider working in Jersey City where they can continue to serve in law enforcement and be an asset to this community,” added Public Safety Director James Shea.

“We believe this is way to turn this into a positive for both the officers, Bergen County and Jersey City.”