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Rutherford Daily Voice serves Carlstadt, East Rutherford & Rutherford
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Rutherford Daily Voice serves Carlstadt, East Rutherford & Rutherford

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DV Pilot police & fire

From 9/11 heroes to greedy public servants? No!

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

P.O. NICK LOIZZI : How times have changed. Remember 9/11? A mere 10 years ago, people were applauding cops and firemen as we went about our duties. Many of us were thanked for “being there.” Now what’s happening?

I went to WTC the day of the attack. I returned during the recovery — on my own time. Many of the people who responded developed long-term terminal illnesses. Some of those have died. For a short time, it was a good thing to be a cop or a fireman.

Rutherford P.O. Nick Loizzi

I haven’t changed. If the attacks occurred today, I would still rush in while millions rush out. The same goes for most of us – despite what the public thinks.

I’m also not “greedy.”

I agree that the costs have gone up. I will NOT, however, take responsibility for the atrocious mismanagement of the pension system by the government and municipalities.

I made my pension contributions while they stopped making them. I stood up and questioned the State when they took the money out of the system to use elsewhere. I railed against the “pension holidays” that allowed the lack of payments into the system.

I do not qualify for Social Security and am not permitted to go into a 401K. The pension system is all I have — except for welfare, and some of you undoubtedly would call me a leech if I ever went that route.

No one likes the way the economy has turned. I have family members suffering through this, as well. But, when the economy was gaining double-digit percentage points, my raises weren’t even close.

In plain language: While the private sector was getting 10-15% raises, I was getting 3-4%.

I also will not take responsibility for the disgraceful rise in health care costs. The insurance companies who back Christie are the ones responsible — but you don’t see him going after them for their outrageous rates, do you?

My union has already agreed to 0% increases and has given concessions to save jobs. I and many of my fellow public servants have said we’d be willing to discuss contributing toward my healthcare.

But nobody talks about that. We are just “greedy.”

When (not if) the next attack occurs, my brothers and sisters will be there, just like we are when you dial 9-1-1 or stop us on the street when you are in trouble.

Some of us still do it with a smile. All of us do it with pride in serving the public.

Don’t call me greedy. Call me Officer.

Officer Nick Loizzi has been with the Rutherford Police Department since 1987, and has served in various roles for PBA 300.

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