As reported in the Trentonian on October 13, 2010, the Ewing Township Police Department has slashed the number of tickets for motor vehicle violations in the past three months in response to the Township’s decision to lay off six patrol officers due to budget constraints.
According to Police Chief Robert Coulton, summons issued for moving and parking violations dropped from 633 written in June down to 340 in July, 293 in August and 290 in September. Coulton said younger officers, serving between one and five years, are traditionally the most productive in the ticket department, and the recent sharp drop in summonses, which means lost revenue for the township, is clearly a reaction to the township layoff notice issued months ago, targeting six junior patrol officers.
The police layoffs, however, have been put on ice following a request by PBA Local 111 to freeze final checks for unused vacation and sick time and start negotiations aimed at reinstating the six officers. No date has been set for the talks to begin, however.
Running down the number of tickets handed out this year, Coulton said Ewing police issued 684 in January, 500 in February, 734 in March, 644 in April, 504 in May, and then dropped off significantly. How much this has cost the Township in fines could not be determined. Coulton’s breakdown came at the request of Mayor Jack Ball, who issued the layoff order which took effect September 17 for the six officers and other township workers in various departments, laying the blame for these job cuts on Ewing’s loss of $2.5 million in state aid for Fiscal 2011, which began July 1.