In the increasingly tense post-redistricting primary contest between Rep. Bill Pascrell and Rep. Steve Rothman, Pascrell has rolled out another series of endorsements, this time of first responder and public safety organizations:
• N.J. State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Anthony Wieners, President
• Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, Dominick
• N.J. Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association, William J.
• N.J. State Fraternal Order of Police, Edward R. Brannigan, President
• Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, Paul Nunziato, President
• International Association of Firefighters, Harold Schaitberger, President
• Paterson Local Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association,
Carlos Pagan, President
• Clifton Local Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association,
Robert DeLuca, President
We don’t generally post press releases in the form they come to us. But the balance of this release was pull-out quotes from the leadership of the organizations. I thought some of you might want to read those quotes. Below the fold, the quotes.
Anthony Wieners, President of the N.J. State Policemen’s Benevolent Association
“The police never stop working. Neither does Bill Pascrell. Congressman Pascrell has always fought to keep police on the streets. In the past year, he has been relentless -fighting in Congress through the night when necessary to make sure federal resources are available to help police departments all over the country.”
Dominick Marino, President of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey
“It’s amazing that 10 years after 9-11, a lot of people in Congress believe public safety is a luxury item. Bill Pascrell stands up against these slash-and-burn budget tactics to make sure that we don’t sacrifice our hometown, or our homeland security. No member of Congress has done more for America’s fire service than Bill Pascrell. Long before it became popular, Bill was fighting to provide first responders with the equipment, training and resources we need to protect the public. America is a safer place today because of the leadership of Congressman Bill Pascrell.”
Bill Lavin, President, of the N.J. Firefighters’ Mutual
Benevolent Association (FMBA)
“Almost immediately after he was first elected to Congress,
Congressman Pascrell talked with firefighters to find out what we needed to help us get our jobs done. We didn’t hesitate to tell him. Congressman Pascrell responded to us by establishing the FIRE Act and SAFER program, which have helped departments obtain equipment and keep firefighters in their jobs. You
can’t find a Congressman who is more dedicated and responsive to public safety concerns than Bill Pascrell. No elected official today is more deserving of public safety workers’ support than Bill Pascrell. We support him in this primary fight. It is critical to keeping people throughout New Jersey and across the county safe.”
Edward R. Brannigan, President of the N.J. State Fraternal Order of Police and national vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police
“Congressman Pascrell has always been there for the police, and we will be there for him.”
Paul Nunziato, President of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association
“In his time in Congress, Bill Pascrell has fought for the right to collectively bargain for fair wages and job conditions and to protect the working men and women of our state. He has also been a direct advocate for our state’s first responders, including specifically the COPS program, which has provided additional police officers to protect the citizens of New Jersey. I also know that he personally has supported my members. Without fanfare, he attends our memorial services and is always available to listen to our concerns. In short, I know he is 100 percent behind my members, so he can count on the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association to support him 100percent!”
Carlos Pagan, president of the Paterson Local FMBA
“Paterson’s firefighters know they have a friend in Congressman
Pascrell. He loves this city and he is doing everything he can for
us. Running away from a challenge is not the way to win the support of Paterson firefighters. We’re standing with Congressman Pascrell because, for 15 years, he’s been standing with us.”
Robert DeLuca, President of the Clifton Local FMBA
“Fire Departments everywhere have been hit with tough challenges – budget constraints, staff cuts, aging equipment. Congressman Pascrell is always working to be part of the solution instead of the problem. He’s not just raising his hand when it’s time for the budget vote. He works to make sure the funding is there for public safety before the vote is taken.”
Pascrell authored the F.I.R.E. (Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement) Act of 2001. The law established the only federal program that delivers grant dollars directly to fire departments.
It is now known as Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, administered by Dept. of Homeland Security. Through it, fire departments have been able to apply for federal grants to purchase the equipment, training, and vehicles needed to serve their communities.
Congressman Pascrell, also the Dem co-chair of the
Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus also conceived of the SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant program, providing federal support for staffing of local fire departments.
“I am deeply honored to have the faith and confidence of the people who put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect all of us,” said Pascrell, a lifelong resident and former mayor of Paterson. “Our first responders do everything they can to protect the public. I have made it a priority of mine to bolster federal support for the jobs our police officers and firefighters do for the benefit of all communities. With their help, I look forward to continuing to fight for them on Capitol Hill. I am grateful for their support.”