YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Three Hudson County Sheriff’s officers are becoming Saddle Brook police officers, giving the depleted department a long-awaited boost.
Officer Norma Aedo, Adam Georgaros and Irving Gutierrez begin eight weeks of field training on March 24, Police Chief Robert Kugler told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight. All have between five and seven years experience with the sheriff’s office in Hudson County, the chief said.
“The new hires are utilizing the NJ Civil Service Commission’s Intergovernmental Transfer Program,” Kugler said. “Under ITP rules, officers from civil service jurisdictions can transfer to another civil service department without taking the entry level competitive examination.”
Aedo, Georgaros and Gutierrez “have successfully completed an extensive and exhaustive background investigation,” he added. “They are very much welcome — and desperately needed — in our community and our department.”
Once at a robust 34 officers, the force dwindled to 22 in five years. Then two officers went out on medical leave, reducing the number to 20 last year.
“Our inverted pyramid structure in the ratio of supervisors to police officers was 12 to 8,” Kugler told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
What’s more, overtime soared the past two years.
In 2012, it was $325,000, the chief said.
Last year, it was $400,000.
The department now has the two officers back from leave, three officers who just completed the police academy and field training and the trio of transfers, bringing the total to 28.
“It just makes more sense dollar-wise — and, more importantly, safety-wise — to hire additional police,” Kugler said. “I’m happy not only for the taxpayers but for the safety of the public and all of our officers.”
The chief also emphasized the professionalism and dedication of those officers who’ve served during the recent shortage.
“They continued to maintain their character, continued to be loyal to their duty and to serve the interests of the public,” he said. “They should be applauded for continuing to provide the services the community not only expects but deserves.”
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