A rant against Mayor Stephanie Murray and the rest of the Middletown Township Committee was posted anonymously on the business facebook page of the Middletown Township PBA Local 124 yesterday afternoon.
Written by “I am a police officer in Middletown Township,” the post alleges that Murray and the Township Committee are not paying police officers salaries and claims that officers are subjected to sub-standard working conditions. The anonymous officer claims that the Township Committee gave themselves a 20% raise:
They thank us by refusing to pay officers salaries but have no issues giving themselves 20% raises outside the 2% cap police officers are held to by the state legislature
We drive patrol vehicles that have well over 100k miles on them. We dress in a locker room that will flood with the smallest rain storm. We have roll call in a room that is smeared with dirt, broken windows, and lights that house more dead bugs then light itself. Our cars are filled with equipment that is broken, missing or never made available.
The post was “boosted” as a paid facebook advertisement and generated 718 “likes” and 380 “shares” as of 10 p.m. on Friday evening. It was removed from the PBA’s page on Thursday evening, but still shows up in “newsfeeds” of facebook users who follow the union. You can access the entire post by clicking on the screen grab of it which indicates it was sponsored.
Murray brushed off the attack which she called “puzzling” in a phone interview with MMM. She declined to discuss specifics of the ongoing negotiations with the PBA and the Superior Officers Association, saying that to do so would be “unprofessional and a violation of fair labor practices.”
Murray said that all officers salaries are being paid and that health benefits are not at risk. She said the Middletown Township Committee has not gotten a raise since 1982, when she was 7 years old.
“Certain members of the PBA, not all, are trying to leverage the great news of Middletown’s historically low crime rate and take advantage of the taxpayers,” Murray said. “I honor our police officers and the job they do. I don’t believe the sentiment expressed in the anonymous post represents the majority view of the PBA members.”
The contracts of the Middletown PBA and the Superior Officers Association expired at the end of last year. Under the terms of the expired contracts, the members of both the PBA and SOA unions earn an average of over $100,000 per year.