The layoffs of a quarter of the police force comes after the city eliminated 392 municipal workers out of a workforce of nearly 2,000 to combat a $70 million budget deficit.
Eighteen Guardian Angels began patrolling the city on Sunday.
Mayor Jeffery Jones invited the volunteer safety patrols as the city’s budget problems deepened. Jones told The Record newspaper the Guardian Angels can play “a significant role” in public safety.
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa says members keep an eye on neighborhoods, break up fights and make citizen arrests. The group hopes to recruit Paterson residents to take over the patrols.
“You take 125 cops away, you’re basically putting a sign out that says, ‘City open. Open season for criminals.’ and we don’t want that image to go out about Paterson,” Sliwa told CBS2.
Worry over the layoffs isn’t confined to the city of Paterson.
“Actually, I hear that a lot of the confidential informants are advising, like a lot of the narcotics guys and the gang officers, that they’re waiting. They’re waiting for this day,” a cop from neighboring Prospect Park told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Sighs. 125 people laid off. Mind some of the recently unemployed police don’t flip to the other side they dang on selves!
Please, please, please, listen to Charlamagne the God of Power 105.1 in New York give the Mayor and city officials of Paterson, NJ “Donkey of the Day” and discuss his hilarious (and realistic) views on the hiring of the Guardian Angels. http://www.power1051fm.com/common/kyte/medialink.php?uri=channels/449330/1298445