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Madison's New Police Hire on Hold

Governing body concerned about the affordability of the budgeted position after reviewing projections for next year, the council president said.

Madison's governing body is deferring a decision on hiring a new police officer because of concerns about being able to afford the position next year, the Borough Council president said Monday.

Council President Jeannie Tsukamoto said officials, after reviewing projected 2013 financial information provided by the chief financial officer, were concerned about the affordability of the position in 2013.

As a result, they deferred a decision to a later day and will work with the on shared service and partnership opportunities to reduce underage drinking and drug and alcohol acitivity in town, Tsukamoto, the council's public safety liaison, said during the council meeting.

The additional police position was included in the 2012 budget and, about a week before , Trevena—with the involvement of Borough Administrator Ray Codey and Assistant Borough Administrator Jim Burnet—, Tsukamoto had said.

Trevena's departure brings the number of officers to 26. The department had 35 officers in 2008. Since then, the number of officers was reduced through attrition and four civilian dispatchers were hired to handle dispatching work previously done by officers.

In March, Tsukamoto said funding for the new officer .

Mikey D August 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Typical Madison resident. I need to "see" a stray bullet before I'll worry about it happening. What color wool do you have, sheep?
Patchisarag August 15, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Ghost I agree with what you say. My taxes continue to skyrocket while services continue to decrease. What really bothers me though is that within the last year or so my neighbor called the police for a man and woman fighting in the street and two guys from two different towns showed up. Thankfully it turned out to be nothing serious but the madison police never came. I asked one of the officers why they came and not madison and he said they were too busy. He also told me that it happens all the time. What I would like to know is how often does this happen where our police (my tax dollars) are tied up that I need to wait for another town to come if someone in my family needs help? What if those towns are busy? Then what? Do we really need to wait for someone to get hurt, or worse, die for something to be done? You can bet your bottom dollar that if someone in my family is the victim because of lack of services then the first seven people on the lawsuit will be the mayor and council.
ghost August 15, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I couldn't agree with you more Patch! It's a disgrace that our town has turned into this. For what we pay in taxes, two different guys from two different towns come to help you? That's outrageous! I wouldn't want to see another town respond if I'm in trouble and need help! What if it was someone having a heart attack with precious minutes deciding whether that person lived or died? This administration has sacrificed not only our safety, but our security as well! We deserve better!
Mike H August 15, 2012 at 12:50 AM
your thinly veiled racism is sickening. the strength of our community lies in our diversity.
ghost August 15, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Here's more for you Patrick http://articles.nydailynews.com/2004-04-05/news/18267290_1_student-shot-resident-assistant-university-web-site http://articles.cnn.com/2004-04-04/us/university.shooting_1_campus-security-officers-wound-student-dance?_s=PM:US
Patchisarag August 15, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I don't find anything he said to be remotely close to racism but coming from someone who would like to see the police outsourced I'm not surprised by your comment. Why don't you grow a set and stand-up and support your police department, which for some reason you never see our elected officials and most of the commenters do. I for one respect them (along with all our public employees) for what they do and have been through over the last couple years. Its only in our best interest to support them while they deal with some difficult issues. Keep your heads up and thanks for protecting me and my family.
Dizzy D August 15, 2012 at 01:12 AM
We can afford two Boro administrators but not cops???!!! Is that what I'm hearing here???!? What a joke. This is a disgrace. I have also called for assistance at my residence and a florham park cop came. Is that what my tax dollars are for ? What ever happened to seeing a couple police Sara in your neighborhoods? I haven't seen one in a long time Probably because there is only one or two per shift!!!! Wake up Council. It's going to be on you seven when something happens or someone gets hurt bc a lack of public safety.
ghost August 15, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Mike H, I prefer not to mingle with gang members who bring a loaded gun to my town. Once things start affecting the businesses and they move out, Madison will really suffer. By the way, you're part of the problem judging by your previous comments! See below. "Mike H 9:58 pm on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 let's outsource the pd to the state police or chatham twp and be done with this nonsense"
Patchisarag August 15, 2012 at 01:17 AM
I would love to know how many times that actually happened where other towns have had to come to help. Probably a large number. It would be nice to see residents storm a meeting like they did when codey got the boot but I get the impression that either most of them don't care or don't realize what is going on.
Patrick Franklin August 15, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Great, a shooting from 8 years ago on the FDU campus ( when the PD was significantly better staffed). Mikey D, I've lived in crime prone areas and would never want to see Madison become such a place. Like I said, I agree with most of what ghost says and would like to see 30+ cops but this ain't exactly Camden just yet.
Patrick Franklin August 15, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Wow, 2 gang members from Newark carrying guns. You sound as shocked as some others do here when Drew kids get busted for weed. Let's not panic.
ghost August 15, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Is there a way to make a notification to other residents to go to a meeting to voice our concerns? I'm interested in knowing how often other towns are called to Madison because Madison doesn't have any officers available. We should demand the town council to produce those records! All the council does is blow sunshine up our noses while they're destroying what made Madison such a wonderful town to live in!
Patrick Franklin August 15, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Rally the troops and show up to the meetings. Usually the meetings are light in attendance.
Mike H August 15, 2012 at 01:47 AM
ghost, since ctpd and njsp are already responding to madison calls under mutual aid, i'm not the problem. try again.
Sabrina Flood August 15, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I remember at a open house at the police dept, they kept those records at the main desk area as to how many times another town is needed for assistance. Im sure a Officer would be available to got to council meting so all public can hear those numbers.
BeardedMike August 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM
35 officers to 26. At this point they can't staff all the jobs they are mandated to, and overtime is mandatory. Translation: we pay more for an understaffed dept. I moved here 8 years ago because of schools, low taxes, and a safe town. They've cut my police, my school rankings have slipped, yet my taxes continue to rise. Madison: get your act together or people like md will continue to leave.
Anonymous August 15, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Reading Between the Lines - Guess all the recurring savings that the administrative team were going to find haven't panned out - http://madison.patch.com/articles/codey-reinstated-by-council AND, the recent police arbitration award was waaaayyyyyy more than the borough's crack administrative team had budgeted (or, more aptly, not budgeted) for the past three years.
J August 15, 2012 at 07:05 PM
What's your source for "school rankings have slipped"? The data (test scores) I've seen doesn't support that.
Bill Kingston August 15, 2012 at 07:39 PM
So here I am, lounging on vacation and my daughter shows me the video below that was taken in Madison - yes, that's Central Avenue School in the background, and yes, that's alcohol being consumed. Not sure any of the people in the video are from Madison. Can't believe the Boro would have sanctioned this through the proper channels so I guess these are just some of the people that visit and hang around Madison? Shocking! I wonder how they pulled this off without PD intervention in broad daylight??? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4GillNB_qY If the link doesn't work, search for "Wipe Ya Self Off" on youtube
Bob August 15, 2012 at 08:20 PM
@Bill , I actually know a lot of people in that video , some are from town or friends with people in town.... None of them are looking for trouble they just enjoy making music , but yes they were drinking in public and that is not allowed
ghost August 15, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Someone should send that video to the police and the town council! By the way, lovely video! I wonder if Mrs.Tsukamoto and her flock are trying to undermine Ray Codey again with these decisions regarding the police. Ray Codey made the recommendation to hire a new officer and the money was already budgeted for 2012. It seems rather suspicious that Madison has lost more officers and the new hire is not being hired now as per Mrs.Tsukamoto's decision. The whole police department is falling apart and they're going to leave them in peril with less and less officers? If Madison can't respond to all of the emergencies and is calling in other towns to help us, who is watching our homes, businesses, drunk drivers, drug dealers and children? For the taxes we pay in Madison, at the very least, we deserve to feel safe in our homes and have our own police department respond when we need help! Shared services will only increase our taxes! Mine Hill is living proof! We need to vote these selfish council members out! Someone needs to stand up and do the right thing here! No more back-room coups! No more wasteful spending! Public safety comes FIRST!
jerry stevenson August 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Amazing! Obviously filmed at Dodge Field behind the snack bar. I'm guessing it was on a Sunday.
joe citizen August 15, 2012 at 10:44 PM
there are kids that just finished 8th or 9th grade in that video- not a good role model in my mind
Aladdin Sarsippius Sulemenagic Jackson III August 16, 2012 at 03:26 AM
I watched the entire 3:48 video and didn't see any alcohol being consumed. I did see some closeups of men needing a great deal of dental work. My God people, floss!
Lucretia G. August 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM
The dog was so cute!!!
Jake Remaly (Editor) August 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM
To be clear, while it was the council president who was giving an update where the process stands with the governing body, it wasn't a decision that the council president could make on her own. She has stated what she sees as the merits of adding an officer, but also says officials need to make the position work with the 2013 budget. I don't have specifics beyond that at this point. I'm not sure where the other elected officials stand on this, or what budget numbers they're looking at, but wanted to add that in case the clarification helps.
BeardedMike August 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM
J: according to schooldigger.com, compared to other schools are rankings have declined between 03 (when I moved here with my family) and '11' the last year for which we have data. Statewide ranking: 2003 was 31st, 2011 was 66th. Total in ranked high schools : 2003 was #351, 2011 was # 381. State of NJ %: 2003 was 91%, 2011 was 83%. There was some up and down in that time, but we are trending down. Meanwhile, the budget is slowly trending up, as are my taxes. More $ for less police and fire personel and schools that are slipping compared to other communities? Great.
ghost August 17, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I hate to beat a dead horse, but something stated in this article does not make sense to me. The council is placing the new hire on hold, but will "work with the Madison Police Department on shared service and partnership opportunities to reduce underage drinking and drug and alcohol acitivity in town,..." So in essence, the mayor and council want to pay another town to form a task force in OUR town with OUR tax dollars instead of hiring an officer that was already budgeted for. Instead of paying more money to use another town for a task force, why wouldn't you keep the money in Madison, hire our own officers and have our own task force back in place? Wouldn't that benefit the town more because we'd have Madison guys out there who know the town inside and out and who probably care more about our town than an outsider would? Is it even legal to hire other police officers from other towns to work in Madison? Like I said, our mayor and town council are placing the entire town in jeopardy under the guise of saving the town money. I expect public safety to be the number one priority in Madison! We pay a lot of money in taxes and should not have officers from different towns coming when we call for help because we don't have enough officers and our mayor and town council have blown our tax dollars on trivial projects that we don't need!
Lisa Ellis August 17, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Absolutely shocking and there are several young men from Madison in the video. It takes almost nothing these days to film something like this...ten minutes and an IPhone. I disagree with the assertion that our schools are slipping. I checked out schooldigger.com (whose rankings are based solely on state testing results) and we are ranked #56 overall out of 559 which puts us in roughly the top 10% statewide and New Jersey Schools are ranked only below Massachusetts nationwide. Also, Madison High School was ranked #276 in Newsweek’s recent list of America’s Best High Schools 2012. Our students continue to succeed at a very high level and go on to an impressive list of the best universities in the country. We continue to look to improve student achievement in spite of serious funding losses over the last few years. Our property taxes will continue to climb until Trenton seriously addresses the inequities associated with how we fund our public schools.
Patrick Franklin August 17, 2012 at 06:52 PM
The only shocking thing about this video is that random white kid not feeling the music at all. Where's the alcohol consumption? Bill wrote this up as if it was a full scale rap video, when in fact it's a group of kids with a camcorder (or cell phone) who probably wrapped in 10 mins.

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