LETTER BILL ALLOWS PRIVATE DONATIONS TO FUND EQUIPMENT AND SALARY ENHANCEMENTS FOR POLICE OFFICERS

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Legislation (A-3537) to authorize in every municipality public safety trust funds financed by private donations, not public tax dollars, to pay for police officer safety equipment or provide salary enhancements has been introduced by Assemblyman Ron Dancer.

“Police officers provide a valuable service, ensuring safe, crime-free neighborhoods for New Jersey families,” said Dancer (R–Ocean). “Properly equipping and retaining the best officers can often be problematic when municipal budgets are constrained by the 2 percent cap on tax levies. With the addition of private contributions towns can better maintain and provide high-quality police protection without adding to the burden of property taxpayers.”

“In many smaller towns with lower pay scales, it is challenging to retain police officers given a 2 percent budget cap on tax increases. Under this bill, salary enhancements from private donations would be distributed to officers according to procedures established by the municipal governing body,” said Dancer.

The bill specifies that any salary enhancements are solely dependent upon private donations and are not part of, but over and above, an officer’s contractual salary and not a factor for pension calculations.

Under the bill, the local governing body will administer the fund and determine appropriations.