Judge Blocks Public Vote on County Police Merger

Ruling allows freeholders to vote on disbanding the Bergen County Police Department.

A judge has blocked a non-binding referendum asking if the Bergen County police should be merged into the sheriff’s office, but allowed the freeholder board to move ahead with an ordinance to disband the county police, northjersey.com reported.

Superior Court Judge Menelaos Toskos ruled Friday that the court could not move on an issue before it becomes an ordinance, the report said.

While the merger question won’t appear on the ballot, the freeholders could vote at their Sept. 12 meeting to disband the county police department. County Executive Kathleen Donovan, a supporter of the county police, is all but certain to veto the move.

The to weigh in on the proposed merger and passed an ordinance on first reading to dissolve the 89-member department. of the board’s power and the referendum was improper because it was not passed at a regular public meeting.


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Gabriel Francis September 11, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Sgt Barry - basic academy training and a certificate do not make sheriff officers cops. they guard the courthouse and serve process. is that what a cop does at the port authority or in a municipality or in the state police? NO they do not. they do not perform the same patrol function. get rid of them now. save the taxpayers money now.
Johnsmith September 11, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Ok for the record let's clarify some things for those who are confused, of which there appears to be many. Sheriffs officers are cops. They receive the exact same 19 weeks training, attend the exact same police academy class, and are awarded the exact same police training certificate as all municipal and county police officers. The only difference is their job title and function, currently. They handle court security, serve process, handle evictions, as well as missing persons and crime scene forensics. They may also conduct traffic enforcement and issues summonses or make arrests when needed. This all amounts to being qualified as "cops" in my book, although thy do not currently patrol towns. I think many people are confusing sheriffs officers with the other job title in that department, corrections officers, who while also able to make arrests and enforce the law, receive different training geared towards corrections and do not handle any traffic enforcement at all. Both titles fall under the umbrella of the sheriff.
hsr October 04, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Everyone has a right to their opinion and has a right to express it without being attacked by another. We should be allowed to vote on it. Other counties in the state have done away with them. Let the people decide.
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