Ordinance creating special police force of 50 officers adopted | Paterson Times

Ordinance creating special police force of 50 officers adopted


The ordinance creating a special police force of 50 class one special police officers was adopted by the city council on Tuesday evening. Council members are hoping the special officers will reduce some burden off the city’s regular police force.

Special police officers, class one as they are labeled in state law, will not have the ability to carry firearms, but they will have the ability to issue traffic tickets, enforce city ordinances, and serve as crossing guards.

“Hope is that this ordinance will help cut costs,” said Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman. Currently, during special events, parades, the city deploys regular police officers, increasing the cost of parades for taxpayers. With special officers, who will undergo 80 hours of training, who will have the ability to handle crowds, costs of parades can be brought under control.

Specials will be paid $12 to $15 per hour, according to the ordinance. Each officer will be appointed initially for four months, and thereafter reappointments will be for annual terms.

City officials are also hoping that the creation of special police force will reduce some of the burden off the city’s regular police force. As a result regular police officers will have more time to respond and investigate more serious problems in the city rather than being tied up in mundane traffic stops.

Domingo “Alex” Mendez, councilman at-large, previously stated the city’s regular police officers are often crossing school kids back and forth, when they should be handling much more serious issues in the city.

Sayegh believes the ordinance will allow city residents to embark on careers in public safety. “It could potentially create a path for Patersonians to pursue a career in law enforcement,” said Sayegh.

  • Kary Testino

    This is the start of an end…. I do not foresee this accomplishing anything besides getting the real police off crossing guard duty. Crossing guards are cheaper and better suited to cross children, its their only job and only focus. Putting class one officers out there doing this will not work, they will be "hot dogs" and rather do other things and not concentrate on the children. Separate the job, give the class 1's only the ordinance function and see what happens. Make sure that they also are gone by nightfall otherwise the citizens might think they can the functions of the real police and another citizen might get killed again. If Paterson wants to save money or get their police to do more serious policing, this is not the way.

    • wayne witherspoon

      That's loom and gloom on your part.

    • Kary Testino

      The problem is that this is going to be another political patronage job, people will get these jobs that are not qualified but "know someone". That is the problem with NJ, the politics kill this state and give it the highest taxes in the country along with the most unethical political practices going. The entitlement of the politicians and political hacks in NJ are unimaginable.

  • creciinpaterson

    I hope the new generation of Paterson special police will be better than the last one ….some would say that the previous generation was not trained in how to deal with the public and thought of themselves as real police officers …berating and offending the citizenry …some even would try to pull over vehicles …there was even an incident in which a motorist lost his life when he reacted to being pulled over by special police patrol …something they didn't have any power to do …i wonder how many of the old disbanded force are being recycled ….