FAIR LAWN PBA Local #67
P.O. Box 276, Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410
“Proudly Serving the Community of Fair Lawn!”
"I've A Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore"
This past year, a whirlwind of change swept through the Borough of Fair Lawn leaving in its destructive path unimaginable scenarios. The Mayor and Council have often encountered many forks down the "yellow brick road," but the time has come for the voters to decide which way we should go.
For the first time ever in borough history, four Fair Lawn Police Officers (including three Iraq War Veterans) were fired by the Mayor and Council leaving our department at a dangerous staffing level.
On the very same day (September 1, 2010), when the four officers were forced to turn in their badges and guns, two other police officers were injured when a car attempted to run them over causing one officer to fire his service weapon. One officer was severely injured and remains out of work.
Throughout this year, there has been an increase in bank robberies, burglaries, assaults, and car thefts. It's hard to believe, but even a pipe bomb was detonated in our borough. Most recently, on October 15, 2011, a car theft suspect was charged with aggravated assault for attempting to ram an undercover police vehicle with a stolen car. These are scenes you may see in movies, but in Fair Lawn this is reality.
On November 8, it's time to pay attention to the man/woman behind the curtain. Each Fair Lawn voter has the power to decide the future of Fair Lawn. Remember, "there is no place like home."
David G. Boone
President, Fair Lawn PBA #67
Det. David Boone speaks out against outsourcing the Fair Lawn Police Department's dispatch unit.
March 22, 2011
To the Editor:
In reference to the understaffing of the Fair Lawn Police Department, we feel that Fair Lawn residents should be outraged that four outstanding Police Officers, including three Iraq War Veterans, were terminated on September 1, 2010, by Mayor Joseph Tedeschi, Deputy Mayor Lisa Swain, Deputy Mayor Steven Weinstein, and Councilman Edward Trawinski. Once again, the Mayor and Council have failed taxpayers.
Six months ago, Fair Lawn PBA members and supporters attended several Mayor and Council Meetings to explain the dangers of laying off four Police Officers. Through two awareness campaigns ("Keep Our Cops...Safe" and Keep My Family Safe"), the PBA warned residents that they would once again have to pay to hire and train new officers in the future. The Mayor and Council heard us, but they didn't listen.
Now it appears that the Mayor and Council are looking at options to outsource our Police Dispatching Unit. This is another huge mistake and jeopardizes officer safety. Our dispatchers, who know Fair Lawn inside and out, provide officers with vital, accurate, and detailed information each time a 9-1-1 call is received. Why should an emergency call coming into Fair Lawn be redirected to Mahwah (the County Dispatch site) and then be directed to Fair Lawn? It doesn't make sense and will increase emergency response time.
Finally, it is quite concerning that Councilman Trawinski, who also serves as Bergen County Administrator, is advocating that Fair Lawn consider using the County Dispatch Center. Councilman Trawinski's first priority should always be Fair Lawn.
Outsourcing our Dispatch Unit is just another brilliant "cost-savings solution" we cannot afford.
Trawinski has now brought his "ready, fire, aim" approach to the county level. It was announced that the county would cut its budget by $30 million. We want readers to be aware of some of the supposed and familiar "cost-cutting measures" implemented in Fair Lawn.
First, on August 1, 2010, the Borough of Fair Lawn switched to a self-insurance plan. Championed by members of the Council, the plan is a complete and utter disaster. Since "the switch," employees have been sent to collections, bills from September 2010 are still not paid and they have been forced to hand over credit card information as backup in the event the plan doesn't pay. It's troubling, but County Administrator Trawinski has now proposed "the switch" at the Bergen County Sheriff's Department.
Next, County Administrator and Fair Lawn Councilman Trawinski voted to lay off the four Fair Lawn Police officers who were terminated last September. On March 8, 2011, according to published reports, Councilman Trawinski suggested that the Borough consider hiring three Police Officers. Why? Well, according to a crime analysis report by the state, the Fair Lawn Police Department is understaffed. The fact that minds at the county are examining the possibility of privatizing the jail is absolutely alarming.
More "cost-saving solutions" we simply cannot afford. Learn from Fair Lawn...decisions made here leave lasting impressions.
Det. David Boone, President of Fair Lawn Policemen's Benevolent Association Local #67
Det. David Boone reacts to Thursday's public safety worker rally at the statehouse
To the Editor:
I am a Fair Lawn police officer and have instructed the Drug Abuse Resistance Education curriculum for the past three years at both Thomas Jefferson and Memorial Middle Schools. Throughout my 20 years in public safety, I've taken on many active roles mentoring our youth. I am also the advisor for the Fair Lawn Police Explorer Post 902 (the number "902" represents PO Mary Ann Collura's car designation the night she was murdered). The explorer post is for young adults, ages 14 to 21 who wish to explore a career in public safety.
Regretfully, the D.A.R.E. curriculum has been cancelled due to the reduction in police officers.
Why do I teach D.A.R.E.? Well, like I tell my students during our first lesson, there are three reasons.
Reason number one–My son! I want him to grow up in a world where he and other kids like him make better informed decisions. They are our future and through the combined efforts of parents, teachers and programs like D.A.R.E., we must positively impact their lives!
Reason number two–My best friend, in the prime of his young life, was viciously removed from this world as a result of Heroin! A tragedy that has decimated his family and has robbed me of my friend! There is a Heroin epidemic crossing over from the bordering city we know so well.
Reason number three–My fellow D.A.R.E. officers, and I care about your kids! We have volunteered to teach and all have seen what drug use and bad decisions have done to the kids in our community.
Our goal is to provide your children with tools using the curriculum in place combined with our experiences to ultimately aid in making better, more informed decisions about drug use, bullying, peer pressure, tobacco use and irresponsible alcohol consumption.
D.A.R.E. is a good platform but we also make every effort to connect with the students. In addition to the classroom, D.A.R.E. Officers will stop by during recess or lunchtime and spend time talking to the students. We joke with the kids, sometimes throw the ball around and are frequently asked questions about the concerning subjects I wrote about in the previous paragraph. We are always met with a warm reception and are inspired by our student's desire for knowledge. In so many cases, we form a connection with the students through positive interaction. A connection your local police have found goes way beyond the classroom.
Fair Lawn has had the D.A.R.E. program in place for 20 years! Why is that? Because it works! Does D.A.R.E. work for every kid? No. Despite our best efforts, we cannot connect with every student.
How about this! Ask one of our D.A.R.E. graduates if they've used some part of our time together to make a more informed decision. It's my bet you'll see some positive responses.
You can find statistics that show D.A.R.E. works and others that say it doesn't. Remember, if just one kid, through our time together makes a better, more informed decision about a potentially life changing event, I say job well done!
It has been our honor educating the children of Fair Lawn. It is my sincere hope that the community works diligently to see that this program continues without delay!
A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.
Michael O'Brien, D.A.R.E. Ofc.