As reported by nj.com, five police officers laid off in January were sworn in at Orange City Hall council chambers. The city rehired the officers using money from a federal grant originally meant for new hires, Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. said.
The officers raised their right hands, then received their badges in a ceremony attended by dozens of city employees and officials. The five men, rejoining the department of almost 100 officers, will start immediately, the mayor said. “It’s a good feeling to be back to work,” Officer David Fanfan, 26, said.
State-aid cuts and a $3 million budget gap forced the layoffs, Orange Police Director John Rappaport said. Orange cut 11 officers in January as part of its 50 proposed layoffs, which included 12 firefighters and other city workers. The officers were brought back using a federal grant called the Community Oriented Policing Services grant that awarded the city $964,000 to hire five officers for three years.
In March, the city was able to rehire 12 laid-off firefighters and add 12 new hires by using $1.2 million in federal grants and negotiating givebacks.