Legislation sponsored by Senate Assistant Majority Leader John A. Girgenti (D-35th) of Hawthorne was unanimously approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee yesterday. The bill, S-2731, gives police officers more time to procure a new job without having to retake the basic police training course.
Under current Police Training Commission policy, if an officer has a break in service of more than three years from the date of termination the basic police training course must be retaken. The proposed legislation would extend the certification to five years from the date of termination, allowing laid-off officers additional time to find employment in a similar position or agency. Current economic conditions are making it harder for laid-off officers to find gainful law enforcement employment.
“Both this year and last year, law enforcement officers have been victims of budget cuts. Cities, such as Paterson in my district, have had to lay off police officers at unprece-dented rates. It is difficult for anyone to find employment in the current economic climate, but especially for police officers, whose jobs are provided almost exclusively by government. We must do what we can to make it easier for our officers when they re-enter the workforce,” said Girgenti, Chair of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
The measure unanimously passed the full Senate in April and now heads to the Assembly floor for a full vote.