“You can’t hand just anyone a gun and say he’s a policeman,” warned the New Jersey Education Association Monday in calling for higher police pay and better police training.
Monday night, North Brunswick’s Township Committee introduced an ordinance which would offer premium pay to the patrolman who goes back to the books.
The program, which will be discussed at a public hearing 8 p.m. Aug. 21 in the Linwood School, was presented in two parts:
(1) A general beefing up of police pay in the township—the patrolman would be raised in five steps starting Jan. 1 from $5,800-$6,450 to $6,750-$7,750; and (2) a requirement that policemen complete courses of study in police science to be eligible for promotion to higher-paying grades. and (2) a requirement that policemen complete courses of study in police science to be eligible for promotion to higher-paying grades.
For instance, a patrolman would receive an additional $20 a year for each credit obtained in police courses. The township would pay half the tuition expenses. Conveniently, Rutgers University, joining in a growing national awareness of the problem of better police for better pay, has announced the establishment of two-year programs in police science—stressing psychology, sociology and community relations, as well as criminology.
The New Jersey Education Association argues that the public must make “... drastic, early improvements in the salaries and working conditions of policemen ... to make police work an inviting profession for able and idealistic young people.”
Woodbridge is doing just that. Tuesday it became the first municipality in the state to announce examinations for the police cadet program. The purpose is to interest young men, 17, to 20, in police work.
Whether it be Woodbridge or North Brunswick, or elsewhere in the Twin Counties, we said it before. The modern day policeman, far from being the muscle man with the strong back (the popular view for too long), has to be sensitive to the problems, pressures and motivations of all segments of the population.
That’s why we can and must have more cash and more courses for tomorrow’s cop.
We look forward with all thinking citizens, taxpayers, local officials, yes, and “men on the beat” to a full discussion of these two measures at the North Brunswick public hearing Aug. 21