Bayonne has approved a measure establishing a procedure for the assignment of extra-duty police services.
The City Council has adopted an ordinance to authorize amendments to existing city ordinances regarding the police department and extra-duty services at its August meeting after it was introduced in July.
According to the ordinance, the provision of police for special services is “an advantage to the residents of the City of Bayonne as the costs would otherwise fall upon the residents of the city at large.” The Attorney of the State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Division of Local Government Services previously determined that the members of a municipal police department, during their off-duty hours, can engage in police-related activities for private persons or entities known as “extra duty.”
Per state laws, municipalities can agree to implement a system where the extra-duty assignments of police officers are arranged through a contract between a municipality and a private person or entity. The contract must include a provision where the compensation for extra-duty police related services is placed in a fund established by the municipality, with proceeds of said fund being disbursed by the municipality to the individual police officers performing such services.
Per the ordinance, “it is in the best interest of the City of Bayonne to establish a procedure for the assignment of extra-duty police services which will allow for the greater protection of the citizens of the City of Bayonne.” As such, the city has delineated the process for assignments of extra-duty police services for the Bayonne Police Department.
For a full breakdown of the ordinance, read past reporting at: hudsonreporter.com/2022/08/02/bayonne-considers-establishing-procedure-for-extra-duty-police-services.
New procedure outlined by officials
At the August meeting, Law Director Coffey described the gist of the ordinance: “This is a third party entity that does the scheduling not for off-duty but extra-duty assignments to the police. When we provide information, they provide information back with who they have assigned. There’s a fee involved that goes to the city.”
In response to resident questions, Coffey clarified that the ordinance ensures the city is paid their portion of the fees paid out for extra-duty police work.
“As they get paid, we get a percentage of what they get paid,” Coffey said. “In order for them to pay us, they need an ordinance so they can just put it in their file… So it’s really tightening up our ability to get paid by the company that is doing the work… Every municipality has to have an ordinance that says we’re going to charge x amount in connection with this service.”
After the meeting, Coffey told the Bayonne Community News that this strictly pertained to getting paid through the third party for scheduling the extra-duty assignments.
“We contract with a company,” Coffey said. “The company says listen, we can relieve you of the duty of scheduling. It’s extra-duty work, it’s not on behalf of the city of Bayonne. So if someone wants to have a party and they require a police presence, that’s extra-duty work. The company arranges for all this stuff, charges the fee, and we get a percentage of the fee. The only thing we’re doing on this is, for their purposes, they need an ordinance that allows us to receive our portion of the fee. It’s essentially a transaction fee. So the city of Bayonne benefits from this arrangement.”
Coffey concluded: “We didn’t add any fees. And it has nothing to do with misuse of time or anything. This is just a third part entity that handles all the extra-duty time. In order for us to get our percentage, we have to have an ordinance that says we can receive this money. So all were doing is reacting to the vendors request that there be an ordinance.”
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