If you haven’t already heard the good news, your police department now has 3 more police officers on its staff. Beginning March 24, they will all be given eight weeks of field training. All three officers have between five and seven years experience with the sheriff’s office in Hudson County.
S.B.P.D. now has the two officers back from sick leave, three officers who just completed the police academy and field training and the trio of transfers, bringing the total compliment of officers to 28, though still shy of the table of organizations staffing level of 34 sworn officers.
When interviewed by the CliffviewPilot.com, Chief Kugler supplied some pretty damning statistics. “Once at a robust 34 officers, the force dwindled to 22 in five years. Then two officers went out on medical leave, reducing the number to 20 last year. Our inverted pyramid structure in the ratio of supervisors to police officers was 12 to 8. What’s more, overtime soared the past two years.In 2012, it was $325,000. Last year, it was $400,000”, the chief said.
Chief Kugler was quick to point out the professionalism of his men during very trying times of the past few years: “They continued to maintain their character, continued to be loyal to their duty and to serve the interests of the public,” he said. “They should be applauded for continuing to provide the services the community not only expects but deserves.”
Though the pictures of the officer’s swearing-in ceremony depict Mayor Chamberlame doing the honors, she was very much more the problem then the solution. With her announced re-election campaign gearing up to full swing, she will have you believe she is responsible for adding 6 new patrol officers during a time of crisis. When truth be told and no different then not having any knowledge of the amount of road salt within their possession, this mayor and council did not even have the presence of mind or ability to foresee this crisis coming. In their own words they were ‘blindsided’. And then of course and to add insult to injury, it wasn’t their fault it was the NAACP. It’s NEVER their fault! Then add the absurd appointment of Chamberlame’s nemesis Lou D’Arminio as Public Safety Director to the mix. Absurd because he is the man Chamberlame would have you believe is the very reason for all of the Townships woes. Well it appears D’Arminio was able to do what the mayor found impossible, work with a Police Chief and Dep. Police Chief and hire some cops ASAP. In essence it took someone other then the mayor and council to fix this dire situation.
Though still not a 100% fix, don’t try and kid yourself that this situation was not dire. This mayor and council dropped the ball on this one big time! Of all the many many important issues facing Saddle Brook, police manpower and the lack thereof is by far the most important. The safety, lives, and property of over 13,000 people are directly affected by their hugh, unnecessary, and inexcusable blunder.
This is a record they have no recourse but to run from, not run ON. Only by the Grace of God can it be said the Township skated on this one. Life and death services were there when you needed it. However many more mundane services were not. The light of a brighter day shines more prominently now then before. The reasons for the darkness becomes more prominent as well.