Major cuts possibly coming to Atlantic City fire, police departments

A bi-monthly meeting for the New Jersey Fire Safety Commission happened this morning in Sayreville, and the main topic of discussion was major cuts to Atlantic City's Fire Department.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski is the chair of the New Jersey Fire Safety Commission. He listened as dozens of Atlantic City firefighters took the ride north, concerned with their jobs and what they say is the safety of their town.

Last fall, the Christie Administration took over financial control of Atlantic City in an effort to help its ailing finances. 

According to reports, as a money-saving effort, the state has proposed to reduce the number of firefighters by 100 positions, which is more than 40 percent of the department.

It's something that concerns the assemblyman and many others. 

"We'd like to talk about among the variety of members of the commission that are from a variety of different professional categories within the fire service and probably express our opinion to the governor and to the speaker and senate president that this should not be allowed to happen," says Wisniewski.

Efforts to prevent this include a bill proposed on Monday by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to impose an additional $2 surcharge on Atlantic City hotel bills, with proceeds used exclusively to help fund police and fire operations.

The state takeover plan also calls for laying off 27 Atlantic City police officers. There was no additional comment by the administration.

Wisniewski says layoffs could potentially take effect on Feb. 1.

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