Group gathers ahead of Toms River Council meeting to protest police/EMT funding decision

Two police captains are retiring soon and instead of filling those positions, newly-elected Mayor Dan Rodrick wants to hire eight EMTs to address long wait times.

Isabel Litterst

Feb 1, 2024, 2:10 AM

Updated 164 days ago

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There was another protest in Toms River Wednesday night. This was the first council meeting since last week's decision to retire two police positions and reallocate the funds to add eight new EMT officers.
Over 100 residents came out to Toms River Town Hall to oppose the decision to eliminate two high-level police positions following their retirement this spring.
Laura Lupo, a Tom's River EMT, explained why she and her colleagues are against the ruling.
"They say that there's like 112 patrolmen and that's all they manage and all that. But they're not considering all of the other people that they manage. They're like 'Oh, we're hiring seven or eight new people', but they're Class 1s for the summer, they're not even patrolmen. So, they're not people that are going to be on our road to protect us,” Lupo said.
The mayor said that the only way to add the EMT positions is to reallocate the funds due to a budget deficit. Other council members said that there is money available elsewhere.
Protesters watched the meeting on a projector outside. It was held over Zoom this week because town officials said they had "safety concerns" about holding a public meeting in person.
The meeting ended abruptly after one viewer hacked into the call and shared some very inappropriate comments.
This is Rodrick's first month in office, and constituents are already calling for his resignation. So far, we know of two staff members who have resigned- the most recent being his business administrator- who called his administration a “scorched earth campaign.”


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