North Jersey towns consider carrying tasers

Posted on December 31st, 2009 by bile
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New Jersey law enforcement officials now have the authority to use electronic stun guns, also called tasers, in limited circumstances involving emotionally disturbed individuals.

State Attorney General Anne Miligram approved the state’s primary attempt with tasers in late November.

“This is the first time in this state that officers are going to be authorized to carry and use stun guns in any capacity,” said Milgram.

The policy states that stun guns can only be used by officers authorized by each department’s chief executive.

The number of officers authorized to carry or use the weapons depends on the size of the department. In a municipality with 25,000 or fewer residents, one officer can carry the stun gun. Two stun guns are permitted in a town with 25,000 to 50,000 residents. If a municipality houses 75,000 residents or more, four officers can be authorized to carry the weapon.

Attorney General Milgram said that such an important shift in policy means limited deployment and adequate controls are necessary for accountability measures and evaluating the use of tasers. Only officers of supervisory rank can be authorized to use the tasers. The exceptions are for certified officers of a regional S.W.A.T. team.

As I live in North New Jersey and am a resident of one of the towns mentioned I urge these police departments *NOT* start carrying or using tasers in any capacity. I think its been well demonstrated in recent years that the claim of non-lethal for these devices incentivies officers to use the weapon when it’s not really necessary. Often for general pain compliance. Tasers certainly are potentially deadly weapons and too often used as cruel punishment for a baligerant or uncooperative individual.

The incentives too perverse and the outcome is too random to justify utilizing such a weapon.

Scathing N.J. report details millions of taxpayer dollars spent on municipal employee perks

Posted on December 1st, 2009 by bile
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Hundreds of North Jersey municipal employees are guaranteed paid time off — at taxpayers’ expense — to go Christmas shopping, attend weddings, and even donate blood, according to a scathing report released Tuesday by the State Commission of Investigation.

The 108-page report examined a cross-section of local government contracts and policies across the state, finding that tens of millions in taxpayer dollars are being wasted to fund luxurious benefits for municipal employees.

Among North Jersey’s biggest offenders are Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee and the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, which each doled out massive lump-sum cash payouts for unused sick time and personal and vacation leave. Several other towns, including Englewood and Paterson, were cited for shelling out “exceptional perks,” such as paid days off — in addition to regularly allotted vacation and personal time — for getting married or donating blood.

And most importantly to me being a Fort Lee resident:

Taxpayers in Fort Lee are on the hook for more than 30,000 days of unused leave banked by the borough’s 408 full and part-time employees. If all of this accrued leave were to be cashed in at once, the tab would exceed $7 million – an amount equal to 11 percent of Fort Lee’s annual budget of $63.6 million, the report reads.

Between 2004 and 2008, the borough paid retiring employees a combined sum of more than $1.4 million for unused sick, vacation, holiday, terminal and other leave. More than one third of the payout – approximately $547,000 – was for accrued sick time.

The report also casts a spotlight on municipalities who grant their employees “special perks.”

  • In Fort Lee, police officers receive one or two days off if they qualify at the firing range as expert or distinguished expert marksmen, the report states.
  • Rutherford has a lottery system that awards cash payments to civilian municipal employees who have perfect attendance for a certain period of time. Between 2004 and August 2009, these sick leave incentives totaled $12,600.
  • In Union City, all civilian municipal employees receive one day’s leave at full pay every year for Christmas shopping.
  • Englewood gives its fire and police personnel a paid day for moving, and city police officers get three additional paid days when they get married.

Bureaucrats taking advantage of the their position? No!

Can anyone name me a business or field which has such perks? Or is it only those which are funded through coercion? Is anyone surprised that those who utilize coercion through threats of violence rather than convincing people to do business with you by providing a good service increase their abuse of their victims over time?