Council Wants Sheriff Inmate Cleanup Program Revived
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 • 5:17pm
PATERSON, NJ – The City Council Tuesday night adopted a resolution asking Passaic County Sheriff to reinstate a program under which non-violent offenders in the county jail performed community service by cleaning up around Paterson and other municipalities.
The council resolution said the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP) “added manpower to many crucial projects.’’ The resolution also said the sheriff’s budget had grown by four percent, while most local governments are regulated by a two-percent cap.
The sheriff’s department says it cut the program to save on the cost of assigning officers – sometimes on overtime - to guard the inmates while they conducted the cleanups.
“In these tough fiscal times, the Sheriff’s Office, like Paterson, has reduced certain services that would not compromise the public safety of its residents,’’ said the statement issued by the sheriff’s office in response to the council’s resolution. “ Reducing the SLAP program for government entities was both fiscally responsible and affected a limited amount of county residents.’’
“Please note, that the Department will provide those services when they have the appropriate amount of resources, and during emergencies, such as flooding, and when the services does not result in any overtime expenses, continued the sheriff’s office statement. “The Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide extra assistance such as Crime Scene Investigation, and certain specialty assistance such as HAZ-Mat, SWAT and prisoner transportation to the communities of our County. If the resources are available, at the appropriate time, the Sheriff’s Office will certainly revisit this policy.”