Author Topic: Jersey City looking to make new rules for cops’ off-duty jobs  (Read 1381 times)

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City mayor faces police ire over halting off-duty jobs
« Reply #2 on: 02-01-2018, 01:12pm »
Jersey City mayor faces police ire over halting off-duty jobs
Updated Jan 31, 6:47 PM; Posted Jan 31, 6:28 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY -- Mayor Steve Fulop's pledge to end a program that allows cops to make extra cash working off-duty jobs is leading to howls of protest from the city's police force.

The program is under fire thanks to a federal investigation that has led to guilty pleas from 10 people, including a former police chief, Phil Zacche. More cops are expected to be ensnared in the probe.

"For too long the program has been abused with police officers more focused on off-duty work than on-duty work," Fulop said in an email to The Jersey Journal. "The widespread corruption was known by countless officers within the department and the degree of abuse is astonishing."

The mayor's announcement, which he made on Twitter Tuesday following the sentencing of one of the officers charged in the federal probe, led to a flurry of criticism from police officers and their supporters. One city official reported receiving phone calls from 40 angry cops in the 10 minutes following the mayor's Twitter post.

"Mayor Fulop has shared no plan with the union regarding the future off-duty jobs," Carmine Disbrow, president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, said in a statement. "We'd much prefer to have this conversation with him face-to-face than through social media or the press. While we understand the need for change in the way assignments are distributed, we hope that he understands how critically important these jobs are to keeping Jersey City safe."

The officers who have pleaded guilty have admitted participating in a scheme that allowed some cops to accept payments for off-duty jobs they never worked. Cops in charge of assigning the jobs would accept bribes in exchange for approving phony pay vouchers. In a separate investigation headed by county prosecutors, four officers are accused of conspiring to falsify timesheets related to off-duty details. They have pleaded not guilty. Read more

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City looking to make new rules for cops’ off-duty jobs
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
on November 07, 2013 at 3:00 AM, updated November 07, 2013 at 3:03 AM

Jersey City is revamping the way its cops earn money from off-duty jobs, with city officials saying the proposed changes would save local businesses money and put eight more officers on the beat.

Under the proposed changes, two civilians would arrange for off-duty police staffing (currently, two police officers in each of the city’s four districts handle that administrative task), and a requirement that each officer be paid four hours minimum for each job would be eliminated.

The measure, up for initial approval at next week’s City Council meeting, would also take some authority away from the police chief when it comes to staffing off-duty officers and give it to civilians.

City officials also plan to create a schedule of how many off-duty officers are necessary for a particular type of assignment. The schedule would be publicized and include “an appeal mechanism,” the city says.

“We’ve listened to the small business owners and organizations who hire the off-duty officers, and what they told us was that not only was this process arbitrary, but that the officers lacked oversight and often the business owners felt like victims of price-gouging,” Mayor Steve Fulop said in a statement.

Officers make anywhere from $35 to $65 per hour for off-duty work, depending on whether it’s on a construction site, at an event with more than 5,000 people or a city project. The city pockets $5 per hour for administrative costs, which it wants to boost to $15.

The work can be lucrative. Last year, officers made $9.6 million from private businesses that hire off-duty cops for various assignments, including traffic control outside construction sites and security at private parties.

One officer, Craig Kutiak, made $107,824 in off-duty work, in addition to his $109,097 salary, according to city payroll records. Records show that 36 officers made more than $50,000 from off-duty work in 2012.

The plan does not please the local police union, which says it was not consulted about its creation and only knew about it when The Jersey Journal called yesterday seeking comment.

“We are concerned about any proposal which suggests that a civilian employee has the proper expertise to determine what is and is not a public safety issue,” Carmine Disbrow, president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, said in a statement.

Fulop’s proposal would throw some work to city crossing guards, who are technically employees of the Police Department. If a job entails only traffic control, crossing guards would be eligible.

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