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As previously reported on FAA News, the Toms River Township Council is poised to eliminate positions from the Toms River Police Department, a move that has been met with ire from not only residents of the Township but from the Township's two police unions; the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association.

At a special meeting called by Council on January 18, 2024, an ordinance was introduced that would eliminate 2 captains positions, a public affairs officer, and one rank and file officer that Mayor Rodrick claimed would save the Township $800,000 per year. Rather than apply those savings toward a budget shortfall that Rodrick says is $3.5 million, he and his Council allies are creating 8 new EMT positions to be supervised by the Toms River Police Department.

At the same meeting, in a show of strength, hundreds of residents and police officers turned out to voice their opposition to the move. That same group called for “all hands on deck” attendance at the regularly scheduled Council meeting on January 31st when it's widely expected that Rodrick's Council allies will push through the ordinance upon second reading and public hearing.

In anticipation of an overflow crowd, rather than move the meeting to a different venue that could accommodate those wishing to be heard, Toms River High School North's auditorium or the RWJ Barnabas arena come to mind, the Council has decided to host a virtual meeting.

“These people are cowards, plain and simple. I moved here from Lakewood to get away from this kind of lack of transparency” said one resident of North Dover.

Despite pleas from the public, the Lakewood Township Committee continues it's COVID era policy of virtual meetings rather than face an at-times hostile public.

Having already scaled back the number of public meetings in 2024, from the usual 24 to just 12, inside sources say that the Toms River Township Council is rumored to be considering a move toward all virtual meetings for the remainder of the year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Way to go, they're just a bunch of cowardly politico's by not wanting to be confronted in person by their constituents who elected them.