NEWARK – Citing his commitment to keeping public safety professionals on the job, leaders of New Jersey’s public safety unions gathered today to rally in support of the re-election of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.
“Senator Menendez is a former mayor, and he understands the importance of keeping police on their beats. We know we can count on him to fight for federal COPS funding to keep police officers working in communities throughout New Jersey,” Edward R. Brannigan, President of the N.J. State Fraternal Order of Police and national vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police. “Senator Menendez understands that New Jersey communities cannot balance their budgets by scrimping on keeping their residents safe. We’re behind him 100 percent because we need him in Washington to continue fighting for us.”
“Nearly every person who seeks public office says they support firefighters, but not everyone has the record that truly demonstrates that support,” Bill Lavin, President, of the N.J. Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association. “Bob Menendez has always fought to keep the SAFER program funded to keep firefighters on the job, and he’s supported funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program to enable fire departments to obtain the equipment firefighters need to protect their communities. That’s why our members are squarely behind Senator Menendez in the upcoming election on Nov. 6.”
Since 2006, when Menendez was first elected, he has helped secure $65.4 million for New Jersey through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program. The funding allowed 298 police officers to be hired in New Jersey.
During the same period, Menendez has secured $98.7 million in Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) funds that led to 822 firefighters being hired throughout New Jersey.
Menendez has been a strong supporter of the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) program, which provides direct assistance for local fire departments to purchase equipment, make capital improvements to buildings, and safeguard communities in the event of a terrorist attack.
Menendez also sponsored the Teachers and First Responders Act, which would have provided $5 billion to create or save thousands of police and fire fighter jobs. This was the first piece of President Obama’s Jobs Act, however Republican opposition voted it down – underscoring the need for strong public safety advocates in the U.S. Senate.
“It’s no secret that New Jersey communities have been forced to make budget cuts, and support from the federal government for public safety has been needed now more than ever. We also know that Senator Menendez has been someone we can count on to fight Republican extremists who have tried to gut vital federal programs like COPS and other support for New Jersey’s policed officers and first responders,” said W. Mark Butler, First Vice President of the N.J. State Policemen’s Benevolent Association. “Senator Menendez knows that federal investment in public safety helps a community, keeps police working, and keeps families safe. That’s why the members of the State PBA are endorsing Senator Menendez in this year’s election.”
“Fires and emergencies don’t stop occurring when the economy dips and municipal budgets get tight. When such emergencies occur, firefighters faithfully respond to the needs of New Jersey citizens. Senator Menendez responds to the citizens of New Jersey by effectively fighting back against the Tea Party Republicans who don’t think Congress has any responsibility for public safety funds,” said Dominick Marino, President of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey. “Senator Menendez is fighting for us, so we’re definitely fighting for him in this election.”
“Senator Menendez has taken it upon himself to bolster security at our ports, bringing federal resources to some of the most vulnerable areas in our nation that happen to be right here in New Jersey,” said Paul Nunziato, President of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association. “Senator Menendez is looking out for everyone’s security, and he’s looking out for our members. This November, he can count on the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association to support him 100 percent!”
“I am deeply honored and grateful to have the support of the organizations that represent those who protect us every day, our police and firefighters,” said Menendez. “The simple reality is, these are the people who are prepared to risk their lives for the safety of the rest of us. The least government can do is to ensure that they are on the beat and responding to fires and emergencies instead of on the unemployment line. We should also do everything we can to help make sure that first responders get what they need to do their jobs as efficiently and as safely as possible. These men and women have our backs and the safety of our communities every day, and New Jersey’s public safety professionals can count on me to have their backs in the United States Senate.”
From left, Paul Nunziato, President of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association; Bill Lavin, President, N.J. Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association; Sen. Robert Menendez; George Borek, Vice President, Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey; Edward R. Brannigan, President of the N.J. State Fraternal Order of Police; and W. Mark Butler, First Vice President of the N.J. State Policemen’s Benevolent Association