Cash strapped police department wastes resources on show and tell for media.
[Former] Police Director Joe Santiago called a press conference Monday afternoon to trot out his latest initiative for improving public safety in Trenton.
Word around town was that members of the TAC unit were detailed to ferry patrol cars back and forth from a Hamilton Township carwash (what was the matter with the one here in Trenton?) so they would look spiffy for the dog and pony show.
Apparently, the program for the media circus was to announce the deployment of the newest officers to assignments in various hotspots around town. For the benefit of the assembled media, the rookies were all called in early, along with their sergeants and lieutenants and paid four hours overtime each, so they could make a show of leaping into their cars and rushing off to their assignments.
What happened to our fiscal responsibility and having to cut expenses by 10%? What about the fact that we are so short of labor we have had to disband the Narcotics Enforcement Team?
As if that was not bad enough, the concept of the initiative being touted involves teaming up the newest officers fresh from the academy and putting them on the streets to patrol without the benefit of seasoned officers at their side to guide them.
As we understand it, while there will be Sergeants and Lieutenants supervising these teams, the rookies will be paired with each other and put on the street to sink or swim.
This whole episode was just a waste of our scant resources and the new initiative puts the newest, most vulnerable members of the department at increased risk for harm.
Way to go, Joe!