ATLANTIC CITY — The 17 laid-off police officers set to return to work today got some of their equipment back Tuesday, but no firm answers on when they would be back to work.
The city laid off 60 officers this year in two rounds in a move the administration said was necessary to balance the budget. But members of the Policemen's Benevolent Association voted last week to give back $410 per officer to pay for a month's worth of salaries and benefits to bring the current 283-officer department to 300. The target was to have them return Dec. 1.
"That's still the target," Deputy Chief Ernest Jubilee said Tuesday as he stood outside the police compound off the Black Horse Pike.
Inside, the 17 returning officers took care of administrative necessities, including urine tests and background checks.
"We're trying to make sure all the paperwork is completed and everything's ready to go when the mayor gives the go-ahead," Jubilee said. "That's not resolved just yet."
The officers are waiting to hear when they must be at the shooting range for recertification to be issued their weapons, and also when they will be sworn back in. Jubilee tried to get a date for the officers before they left Tuesday afternoon but was unsuccessful.
No one from the Mayor's Office nor Business Administrator Michael Scott returned calls seeking comment.
Forty officers were laid off Sept. 30, three months after 20 lost their jobs in a first round of layoffs.
PBA Local 24 President David Davidson Jr. said the city is still waiting for a state-certified list that confirms the 17 who will return to duty. That is expected to come today.
One change was made since The Press of Atlantic City first published the list of returning officers, moving up a military veteran who would have missed this round.
Earlier this month, the city agreed to restore enough officers to bring police manpower to 300, as long as the police union made some concessions. The city also has committed to keeping $1 million in the budget to maintain the force at between 300 and 330 officers next year.
The agreement also states that any openings due to retirements or other reasons would be filled from the list of laid-off officers.
Davidson said he is confident more officers will be back in February, when many veteran officers usually retire.
Contact Lynda Cohen:
The city is still awaiting a certified list from the state to confirm the 17 officers who will be returning. These are the officers who received equipment at the police compound Tuesday.
1. Christopher Inman
2. Rebecca Seabrook
3. Christopher Smith
4. Victor Garofalo
5. Joseph Bereheiko
6. Matthew Schmidt
7. Josh Vadell
8. Innocenzo Visceglia
9. Brian Hambrecht
10. Darrell Catanio
11. Dawn Riggs
12. Ferdinand Berrios-Rodriquez
13. Ann Martin
14. Sterling Wheaten
15. Michael Braxton
16. Amir Hughes
17. Marquay Cherry