|The man who parked this minivan in a reserved space steps from the entrance to 24 Hour Fitness in Paramus this morning appeared to be able bodied, but his enormous beer belly may have qualified him for a handicap parking permit.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The tabloid news leading The Record's front page today -- a Glen Rock detective accused of sexting teen girls (A-1) -- exposes the editors' refusal to examine how well the police protect us.
Whether it's a rash of burglaries in tony Tenafly or drive-by shootings in impoverished Paterson, the irresponsible Woodland Park daily has simply ignored the performance of police departments, even when innocent lives are lost.
In 2010, The Record did report on the impact of police salaries on property tax bills and crime. A chart listing salaries stated:
"The average police officer's 2009 base pay was almost $104,000 in Bergen County and nearly $88,000 in Passaic County, with some of the highest pay in lower-crime areas and some of the lower salaries in higher-crime communities.
"Here are averages by municipality, along with crime rates and the percent of officers earning at least $100,000. Data covers patrolmen up through police chiefs."
P.R. for cops
One reason police performance is ignored by The Record's editors is their continued reliance on routine crime, fire and accident news to fill their columns.
To keep the flow of police, fire and accident news coming, local Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza knock themselves out doing public relations for the police and other first responders.
What other explanation is there for why they ran photos showing water-emergency training for local firefighters on the front of Local today (L-1)?
Or, how about a long story on wealthy Wyckoff adding five police officers (L-2)?
And then there is a preview of the Ramsey Rescue Squad putting on "a simulated rescue of a person trapped in a sewer" (L-3).
We pay them handsomely to do those jobs. If they don't, the editors should be pointing that out.
Another sign the editors want to stay on the good side of the police is their reaction to Governor Christie's order to limit local school superintendents to his salary of $175,000 a year, resulting in many cuts.
The Record never questioned then or in the five years since that move why he didn't order the same cuts for nearly 70 local police chiefs in Bergen County, many of whom are making close to or more than $200,000 a year, a huge burden on property tax payers.
Goes to far
Also on Page 1 today, a photo over line goes way too far:
Residents in only three of the 70 towns in Bergen County towns were "warned to boil water" (A-1).