Councilman Michael Jackson has proposed adding 100 part-time special police officer to tackle “alarming amount of lawlessness” in Paterson.
Jackson proposed an ordinance last Tuesday that calls for the addition of class two special police officers. He said the class two officers will be part-time and have the same powers, including ability to carry firearms, as regular police officer.
“We all have to come to a consensus and agree that there’s an alarming amount of lawlessness that is running rampant through the city,” said Jackson. “We have to do something. I’m tired of hearing excuses of why we’re not able to police our own communities.”
Jackson said the class two officers will be required to undergo 280 hours of training in arrest, search and seizure, criminal law, and use of deadly force.
Some of his colleagues expressed support for the idea, but were not fully ready to get on board.
“This has to be a bigger discussion,” said councilman Al Abdelaziz. He suggested a discussion with the police union. He also needed to know whether the city has funding to hire the 100 part-time officers and whether there are adequate resources, such as vehicles, available to deploy them.
Jackson said the city will save money on benefits because the special officers will be part-time.
Some council members pointed out the city’s special class one police officers project was a failure.
“You can see the situation with that has not turned out great,” said councilwoman Ruby Cotton. Council members said there’s now less than five special class one police officers.
“I think there’s about three people. I think the rollout was done wrong. I think the implementation was done wrong,” said Abdelaziz.
Jackson’s ordinance was taken off the agenda for further vetting.