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Friday, August 10, 2007

Hiring more officers?

Following months of pressure from single residents, councilmen, and citizen's groups, there are rumblings that the city is getting prepared to bend to pressure and hire more police officers to help a force that is chronically undermanned and overworked.

Unsubstantiated reports say there are 24 officers in the current academy class tapped to enter the Trenton force, with another 50 planned in the following class graduating in the fall.

Resident and Trenton Rising officials supported City Councilman Jim Coston's push to adjust the city code to increase the minimum number of police officers, in a move designed to relieve the overworked force while simultaneously addressing financial stress caused be forced overtime.

Trenton officers are required to work mandatory overtime to address the manpower shortages, with officers being forced to work consecutive 16 hour shifts in some cases.

One officer stationed on the streets of the Mill Hill neighborhood said he was going a little crazy after working a couple of these double shifts in a row. This can be unnerving to some residents, considering the potentially life-threatening situations that occur in Trenton on a daily basis.

There is speculation that Police Director Joseph Santiago or other administration officials may make an announcement at the August 16 City Council meeting.

Make no mistake.

If this move comes to fruition, it is due to citizen pressure from everyday Trentonians, Councilman Coston, and a concerted effort by officials from the Trenton Rising group, who pushed a group of residents to attend the July City Council meeting and give the Trenton government a piece of their collective mind.

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