OLD BRIDGE – Increasing the pay rate for extra duty, or road job, assignments for police officers is the “fair and equitable” thing to do.
That is what Mayor Owen Henry said of the change in pay rate, which he said would benefit many of the younger officers in the department.
“As we know we have a big discrepancy in our pay guide, pay scale, and it’s pretty complicated depending on who’s doing a job to calculate the rates,” he said.
The pay rate in a previous ordinance is what the officer makes according to the pay schedule they are on – from patrolman to captain – based on a 37-and-a-half hour work week.
“We have so many younger officers on our department right now,” Henry said. “Our rates vary from $53 an hour to probably over $100 an hour.”
The Township Council voted to amend the ordinance after a public hearing during a meeting in April.
“Someone who is presently getting $60 an hour at time-and-a-half will now go to $85 [an hour],” Henry said. “Someone currently making $87 an hour will continue to make $87 an hour and someone who makes $100 an hour will continue to make $100 an hour.”
The amended pay rate brings the costs to a competitive rate across Middlesex County, according to Township Attorney Mark Roselli.
“It’s nothing that’s unreasonable, nothing that’s extraordinary,” he said. “It’s something that helps bring the younger officers up to what’s standard.”
Henry said there is a rotating list of officers who signed up for extra duty jobs.
“Outside employment is a voluntary assignment paid through a third party … it’s not mandated,” Acting Police Chief Scott Gumprecht said. “Officers do not have to sign up … we have officers who will never take outside employment. They can refuse as many [extra duty assignments] as they want, and they can accept as many as they want.”
The extra duty assignments include requests for traffic control, or other police-type duty assignments, according to the ordinance.