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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Overtime Money Well Spent

Numerous media outlets Monday displayed pictures of Trenton Police Captain Paul Messina sleeping on the job, while performing one of the force’s mandatory overtime shifts required under the leadership of Police Director Joseph Santiago.

Monday’s story directly revolves around the second instance of Mr. Messina being caught napping while on duty, while he should have been performing vital duties in Police Headquarters.

This dereliction of duty is a major issue, but the other issue this incident brings up is what the city is receiving for an overtime bill that is approaching $10 million

While two City Council members recently introduced an ordinance that would increase the minimum number of officers and probably address this overtime bill, naysayers, including Mayor Douglas Palmer, Mr. Santiago, and Council President Paul Pintella said the overtime problem was contractual.

With all due respect, it was this same administration that negotiated this contract, and when the administration blames the “four days on, four days off” policy in the current contract for the overtime woes, they can only blame themselves.

They negotiated this feature. You make your bed, and then you sleep in it Mr. Palmer.

Naysayers also said this issue should be addressed after contract negotiations between the city of the police unions are complete.

The Trenton public is being told to hold on during the recent homicidal crime wave while the city works on negotiations that have taken two years to complete in the past.

The city is currently experiencing homicides, gang activity, assaults, and robberies that have caused several of the city’s most precious establishments to close up and flee for the suburbs.

The Chambersburg district boasts only a handful of its old restaurants that made it a gleaming gem in Trenton City.

Trenton needs to use this overtime bill to increase the number of police officers and get better police protection.

The hiring of a number of new officers — significantly higher than the code ordinance mandates — would cost something in the $2.5 million range in the first year.

People understand this won’t directly address the crime issue and bring immediate results, but it will probably help avoid the embarrassment of having “sleepy” officers fall asleep while they serve tiring overtime shifts.

1 comment:

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

very good blog congratulations !!

salutations from Catalonia Spain