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Township Manager Proposes Reducing Number of Ranksmen in Police Department

He said there will be no layoffs in the police department as of right now.

Galloway Township Manager Arch Liston proposed reducing the number of ranksmen in the police department, but said no layoffs are planned for the department "at this time."

He also said the township has not yet begun laying off employees at the council meeting on Tuesday night, Oct. 23.

He estimated that reducing the number of supervisors to 11 would save the township $205,000. He proposed eliminating the rank of lieutenant, stating he wants to make sure cops remain on the street. According to Liston, there are three lieutenants in the department.

"We're not eliminating officers, just restructuring the department," Mayor Don Purdy clarified.

"Nobody's happy about this situation," Liston said.

Recently, Galloway Police Officer Jacqueline Crocker was injured apprehending a suspect during a pursuit through the woods.

"A couple of days later, I saw her working with a cast on her wrist," Purdy said. " ... I feel comfortable knowing we have professionals like that working on our streets."

According to Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola, this is the second restructuring for the police department in two and a half years.

Councilman John Mooney requested a chart from Liston illustrating the proposed changes.

Earlier this year, the township issued notices of proposed layoffs to 90 percent of the township's employees, including those in the police department.

In an ensuing council meeting, council members and township officials spoke about the need to make sure the police department remains intact for public safety reasons.

Final layoff notices will be issued no later than Nov. 16.

Jim McElwee October 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM
I am certainly for anything that will keep our police force intact and don't like to see any one lose their job. However, I would caution the Twsp. Manager to look at all the ramifications. Atlantic City tried to demote their Chief of Police in an effort to save money. That Chief chose to retire, then promply filed a lawsuit against the City. We have enough pending lawsuits in Galloway. I hope your plan can be implimented without this kind of fallout!
elect351 October 24, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Wow Jim I think a fence pole just landed somewhere behind you! Can you say RHETORIC! The math doesnt add up. 3 LT being demoted to SGT is under $50k. To the boys in blue... hows that Purdy buddy treating you now? "ill never lay off a cop" "but ill demote you and take away anything else I can when you arent looking" Reality is this will cost the township more in the long run when those 3 LT file grievances with their union. The township has a history of acting first then losing the grievance if you recall. Meanwhile we can pay that money to the legal department when they have to defend more lawsuits from employees. Purdy has to go!
Patrick Moran October 24, 2012 at 03:20 PM
The reduction proposed actually eliminates 8 supervisory positions, which causes 11 demotions but most of the savings comes from not replacing 1 full position (retirement) As I stated in the Press comments, our rank structure is presently similar to other departments and consistent with most structures and recommendations throughout the state. We have also reduced our ranks over the past few years. There used to be 1 Chief, 2 Captains, 6 Lieutenants, 7 Sergeants and 8 Corporals. Its now 1 Chief 1 Captain, 3 Lieutenants, 7 sergeants (6 actual) and 7 Corporals. To help out, the department has been trying to utilize civilian positions to alleviate using sworn personnel for administrative work, but the budgets have and continue to hamper hiring for these positions. for example, at present we have 3 records clerks (2 of them are out) where we used to have 4 with a part time position and there are more records to handle so using a records clerk to help out admin is almost impossible and there is no money to hire.
Patrick Moran October 24, 2012 at 03:21 PM
The number of “failure to supervise” law suits have and continue to increase in police work in the state and around the country. To avoid this, it is very important to ensure that rules and regulations are followed and proper documentation and paper work are completed; state mandates and directives require it. It is also important for liability reasons and to maintain the level and quality of service to our citizens. Most people do not realize that there must be a supervisor for every patrol shift, 24-7, and that there are other duties, reviews, and operations that must be manned and supervised besides patrol. To name a few; Class 2 Officers, records, dispatch, detectives, crossing guards, release of information, ABC license investigations, firearms permits, evidence, limo and taxi cab inspections, court discovery, court, internal affairs, assignment of details, legal issues/review, changes in policy, training, range, purchasing, scheduling, building maintenance, fleet maintenance, budgeting, evaluations, crime analysis for deployment, etc. If there is a failure in any of these areas, it could expose us to liability, lost criminal cases, bad service, inefficient operations, etc. AND the question when a failure occurs is almost always “…and where was the supervisor?”.
Patrick Moran October 24, 2012 at 03:21 PM
As indicated previously, our department is handling more calls for service, making more arrests, car stops, property checks, etc. than when we had 74 officers and when our records and communications were fully staffed. The only way we have been able to do this and maintain the pace, has been through the leadership and motivation of our supervisors. The public and citizens should know, the level of supervision or supervisors within the department’s operation is not really the issue here. This is simply a budget issue.
Shawn G October 24, 2012 at 09:30 PM
What a shame. Galloways PD is top notch. The people in charge have messed things up so bad its not the economy anymore or every city would be doing the same. Its years of bad decisions and incompetence. Really makes me want to pack up the family and move elsewhere.
tintonfallsretiree October 24, 2012 at 10:35 PM
This is the now the only way to prevent any officers from being laid off. The only thing that I don't understand is why on earth does the GTPD need 19 supervisors for a 55 member department!? That is complete overkill to me to have just over 1/3rd of a department as supervisors. The less supervisors= the more officers on the street. As Chief Moran stated above, the structure of PD'S across NJ are relatively the same but they do not have that large of a ratio of supervisors in their ranks. There are larger PD's (100+ officers) in NJ that have the same if not less supervisors in their ranks. According to the Press of Atlantic City, Mr. Liston has not even gone to the local PBA regarding this. That should be the largest concern as of right now. They were the largest issue that the township had to deal with back when two police officers (rather then 14) were laid off back in 2010. Chief Moran asked the township to show their commitment to public safety, and they did the best they could. The pressure is now on the PBA to do the same. Overall I hope that Chief Moran and Mr. Liston will get the local PBA to agree with this. The township created this mess through numerous fiscal blunders. Because of that, I doubt the PBA will receive this proposal in a friendly manner.
Patrick Moran October 25, 2012 at 09:52 AM
sorry. I accidently deleted my comment lastnight,,,,By law, the Manager decides on the structure of the police department. My position is to run the day to day operations in an efficient and effective manner, with what I am given. The new structure proposed by the manager creates exceptional challenges in regard to administering and managing the department. It will also be a blow to morale, the officers have already given back a lot to help out and now they are being told they will have to give even more. Even so, with all of that being said, the plan was created to minimize the loss of police officers; how do you argue with it? Again, it will most certainly cause challenges and delays, especially with administrative functions but legal timelines and state mandates will remain a priority. We will have to make the best of it no matter what. As the manager indicated, nobody’s happy with it.
Patrick Moran October 25, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Actually I miscounted the number of demotions it would be 13 total.
Red October 25, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Excellent point.

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