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Jersey City to Restructure Off-Duty Police Department Work

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JERSEY CITY -- Mayor Steven M. Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea announced today that the administration is restructuring the Police Department’s Off-Duty Employment Program to make it more equitable for both the businesses and non-profits who use it and the officers.  

One important result of the new policy is that eight officers will return to patrol from administrative duties upon inception. 

“This measure continues our reorganization of the Department of Public Safety, saving our local businesses and non-profits money, putting more cops on the street and creating equity for all officers,” said Mayor Fulop.  “We were elected with a mandate to make government more efficient, and this is part of that process.” 

The changes, which will be executed by an ordinance before the Municipal Council as well as through a directive from Director Shea, establish a centralized Off-Duty Employment Office managed by a civilian employee – as opposed to officers at the district level administering the assignments.  As a result of the centralized office, eight officers will be returned to patrol increasing the number officers on the street and a more efficient use of personnel.  

“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,” said Mayor Fulop.  “I know that change doesn’t come easy, however I am confident that this change is in the best interest of all including the officers, our local businesses, non-profits and residents.”

The civilian Off-Duty Employment Manager will arrange for off-duty police staffing and will work with the companies and residents requiring off-duty officers.  A second employee will serve as the Off-Duty Billing Coordinator to handle payments. 

Changes also include the creation of a schedule of how many off-duty officers are typically necessary for a particular type of assignment so the public can be properly guided.  This schedule will be publicized and includes an appeal mechanism. 

In addition to creating a more equitable process, the new program has the goal of elevating the supervision of off-duty officers and creating a level of professionalism. 

“Officers working off-duty will be held to the same high standard as our police officers on patrol,” said Director Shea.  “No longer will it be acceptable for police officers to be talking on their cell phones or not visible at their post when working an off-duty assignment.  We are instituting accountability across all areas and off-duty assignments is no exception.” 

The revised program will also provide employment opportunities – where possible – for crossing guards to work off-duty assignments when the job entails only traffic control, not public safety. 

“Our crossing guards are predominantly Jersey City residents who day-in and day-out handle traffic control for the City and should be afforded the opportunity to work off-duty assignments that utilize their skills and training,” said Mayor Fulop.  “This is another way to support our residents.” – Press Secretary to Mayor Steven M. Fulop

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