The Associated Press recently reported that a state council on Wednesday, October 22, 2008, struck down New Jersey’s plan to have rural towns pay for the state police coverage that they receive due to the fact that the town’s do not have their own police force. The New Jersey Council on Local Mandates effectively voided a plan contained in Gov. Jon Corzine’s budget that would have charged small towns who don’t have their own police force but instead are provided with public safety coverage by the New Jersey State Police. Corzine has stated that this loss of revenue would have to be absorbed by further cuts in municipal aid.

The Council, which is an independent body created to review the constitutionality of state laws and regulations, said the requirement to force towns to pay for state police was an illegal unfunded mandate. Under New Jersey’s Constitution, the Council’s decision is final.

Seventy-six New Jersey towns get full-time state police patrols free, while 13 get free part-time patrols, regardless of size, population, taxes and wealth.

This is an interesting proposition as it could be an integral part of the continued push to consolidate municipal services and benefits. As a tax saving measure the Governor’s office has already started an initiative to consolidate smaller school districts within the state.  Public services will certainly follow.  While a reduction of officers on the road is unlikely, it is not too speculative to state that the suggestion of sharing administrative duties between departments may be viewed as a feasible cost saving measure. As the budget gets tighter, taxes go higher, and there is a continual cry from the public for assistance; we may see novel propositions that can have an effect upon the employment of public safety officers and the administrators of public safety departments. Let’s keep an eye on this one.

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Photo of Frank M. Crivelli Frank M. Crivelli

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state…

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state, county and local law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS workers.

Mr. Crivelli specializes his individual practice in collective negotiations.  Over the past twenty (20) years, Mr. Crivelli has negotiated well over one hundred (100) collective bargaining agreements for various state, county, municipal and private organizations and has resolved over thirty-five (35) labor agreements that have reached impasse through compulsory interest arbitration.  Mr. Crivelli routinely litigates matters in front of the New Jersey State Public Employment Relations Commission, the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, third party neutrals for mediation, grievance and interest arbitration, the Superior Court of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Crivelli founded and created the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog (www.njpublicsafetyofficers.com) approximately fifteen (15) years ago where he and members of his firm routinely publish blog posts regarding legal issues related to the employment of New Jersey Public Safety Officers.  The blog now contains over six hundred (600) articles and is reviewed and relied upon by thousands of public employees.  Mr. Crivelli has also published books and manuals pertaining to New Jersey Public Employee Disability Pension Appeals and the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation System. Currently, he is drafting a publication on how to Prepare and Negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  He lectures annually at the New Jersey State PBA Collective Bargaining Seminar, the National Association of Police Organization’s Legal Seminar, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission Seminar on Public Employment Labor Law, the United States Marine Corps’ Commander’s Media Training Symposium and to Union Executive Boards and General Membership bodies on various labor related topics.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Crivelli joined the United States Marine Corps where he served as a Judge Advocate with the Legal Services Support Section of the First Force Services Support Group in Camp Pendleton, California.  While serving in the Marine Corps, Mr. Crivelli defended and prosecuted hundreds of Special and General Court Martial cases and administrative separation matters.  In addition to his trial duties, Mr. Crivelli was also charged with the responsibility of training various Marine and Naval combat command elements on the interpretation and implementation of the rules of engagement for various military conflicts that were ongoing throughout the world at that time. After leaving active duty, Mr. Crivelli remained in the Marine Corps Reserves where he was promoted to the rank of Major before leaving the service.

For the past fifteen (15) years, Mr. Crivelli has been certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court for the State of New Jersey, a certification which less than two percent (2%) of the attorneys in New Jersey have achieved.  He is a graduate of Washington College (B.A.), the City University of New York School of Law (J.D.), the United States Naval Justice School, and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.