Paterson cops face layoffs, demotions

PATERSON - Layoff notices and demotions are going out to 159 Paterson police officers today as the city struggles to close a budget gap.

The city plans to lay off 125 officers. Twenty-eight sergeants and six lieutenants would be demoted. The cuts are expected to take effect April 18.

Paterson Mayor Jeffrey Jones says he's not happy about the cuts, but says the police unions didn't make enough concessions to avoid them.

Union officials argued negotiations have been ongoing for three years, but none of the concessions were ever enough.

Paterson Police Union President Steve Olympia says notices went out to all department officers, but official notices won't go into effect until April.

The mayor says what the city can do is come to the bargaining table to come up with a solution. He has until March 15 to come up with a budget.

The cuts come as the city is fighting to keep violent crime under control.

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