RELEASE: Gottheimer Launches “Lower Tax Tuesday,” Announces New Federal Public Safety Investment Clawed Back to Bogota Police Department & Bergen County Sheriff’s Office

$255,000 for the Bogota Police Department for State-of-the-Art Communications System. $954,000 for the Bergen Sheriff’s Office for Cameras, Security Equipment.

 

Above: Gottheimer in Bogota announcing new federal investment clawed back for the Bogota Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. 

BOGOTA, NJ — Today, January 24, 2023, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer announced “Lower Tax Tuesday,” beginning in the Borough of Bogota. Joined by local officials, county leaders, and law enforcement, Gottheimer announced new bipartisan federal investments successfully clawed back from Washington for the Bogota Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. 

Gottheimer’s “Lower Tax Tuesday” Announcement of New Federal Investment Clawed Back from Washington to First Responders Includes:

  • $255,000 in Federal Public Safety Investment for the Bogota Police Department: After lightning badly damaged the their two-way radio system in June 2021, this new federal investment will help the Bogota Police Department upgrade to a new state-of-the-art communications system, help build the necessary base for the infrastructure of the project, and help purchase 25 mobile radios, 16 car radios, two complete dispatch consoles, antennas, microphones, and chargers — all allowing the Department to tie directly into County communications and with other towns.
  • $954,000 in Federal Public Safety Investment for the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office: With the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and its 600+ dedicated personnel responsible for safeguarding a population of nearly 1 million residents, this new federal investment will help the Sheriff’s Office purchase around 100 new cameras to be placed in strategic points along County roads and parks — to help the Sheriff’s Office expand their ability to monitor incidents and combat car thefts around the County. This new investment will also help the Sheriff’s Office purchase trailer mounted message boards to better communicate with the community during County park events, to direct traffic, to display security guidance, and during emergency incidents.

“Today, on what I’m calling ‘Lower Tax Tuesday,’ I’m making multiple stops in North Jersey to announce new investments – with new dollars – that we’ve successfully clawed back from Washington to help our Bergen County communities – that will ease the burden on town and county budgets, help us lower taxes for our families, and, most importantly, protect our families,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), a member of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus and the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “It is absolutely critical, as all of our first responders know, that all emergency services are reliable, efficient, and swift in their communications and in their response. Lives depend on it. This new federal investment will help keep thousands of North Jersey residents and our brave first responders safe. There’s nothing partisan about that. And it keeps our tax dollars here, and away from the Moocher States.”

“Technology is essential in law enforcement. It assists with crime prevention and curtails crimes of opportunity.  The new cameras and message boards will add to awareness and increase the sense of security for residents in our parks and along our highways.  Additionally, this technology will benefit the law enforcement community as a crime solving tool.  I would like to thank Congressman Josh Gottheimer for procuring the funds to better protect our residents and for always supporting first responders,” said Sheriff Anthony Cureton.

Gottheimer was joined today at the Bogota Police Department by New Jersey State Senator Gordon Johnson (LD 37), Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Bergen County Undersheriff Jin Sung Kim, Bogota Council President Consuelo Carpenter, Bogota Councilman Patrick McHale, Bogota Councilman Robert Robbins, Bogota Chief of Police Daniel Maye, and local law enforcement.

Video of the announcement can be found here.

Below: Gottheimer at the Bogota Police Department today to announce new federal investments clawed back for Bogota and Bergen County first responders.

 

Gottheimer’s remarks as prepared for delivery:


Thank you to Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Bergen County Undersheriff Jin Sung Kim, all of our county law enforcement, Bogota Council President Consuelo Carpenter, and the Borough of Bogota Police Department for all joining together today, as we announce new bipartisan federal investments — $255,000 for the Bogota Police Department and $954,000 for the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office — that we’ve clawed back to help us right here.
 
Thank you all for your excellent leadership, and for working with me to help claw our federal tax dollars back to Jersey to protect lives and save our taxpayers money.
 
Thank you also to all our law enforcement, first responders, and emergency dispatchers for all you do every day to keep us safe. As I have always said, we must always get the backs of those who protect our communities, who make us safer, who make our neighborhoods the places we want to live and raise our families.
 
Years ago, my first event as a Member of Congress was actually with North Jersey first responders, standing right next to County Executive Tedesco. We remembered the fallen 9/11 heroes from all across our state. I listened intently that day to what the first responders told me they needed to protect themselves, and, more importantly, the families in our community. 
 
Since then, like you do for us, I’m proud to have fought tirelessly for legislation supporting our first responders, including the bipartisan Firefighter Cancer Registry Act to collect firefighter health and occupational data to determine cancer incidence and trends among firefighters; the Michael Lecik Military Firefighters Protection Act to provide veteran firefighters with the fair compensation, health care, and retirement benefits they’ve earned; and the Never Forget the Heroes Act — signed into law to permanently authorize the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
 
We successfully fought for bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program and voted for the Thin Blue Line Act, because if someone murders a police officer in cold blood, they should get the death penalty. Period. End of story.
 
And last fall, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed my bipartisan, bicameral bill — the Invest to Protect Act — with sweeping bipartisan support to fund — not defund — law enforcement. Nearly every single Democrat and 153 Republicans all came together to vote the legislation out of the House, to ensure we’re getting the backs of our law enforcement. 
 
We must give our law enforcement and first responders every tool to fight crime and keep our communities safe. 
 
The bottom line: you can’t cut or defund your way to safer communities and better police departments. It’s about investing to protect.
 
Today, on what I’m calling — “Lower Tax Tuesday” — I’m making multiple stops in North Jersey to announce new investments – with new dollars – that we’ve successfully clawed back from Washington to help our Bergen County communities – that will ease the burden on town and county budgets, help us lower taxes for our families, and, most importantly, protect our families.
 
These new bipartisan federal investments that we’re announcing today, we fought for together: $255,000 for the Bogota Police Department and $954,000 for the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office.
 
First, here in Bogota, we clawed back $255,000 in federal public safety investment for new security and communication equipment to keep our communities safe. These dollars will support accessories and equipment that the Police Department desperately needs to replace their radio system between dispatchers and officers, after their two-way radio system was badly damaged when it was struck by lightning in a storm a year and a half ago. 
 
Luckily, following that significant damage, the Bergen County Department of Public Safety came to the rescue, offering Bogota’s Police Department access to utilize the County’s Digital Trunk Radio System. This came with the condition that Bogota would help purchase the accessories and equipment they’d need to support this replacement. Today, that problem has been solved. 
 
Bogota was already having difficulty with their communications, dealing with dead zones caused by issues with different radio frequency bands, as well as difficulty receiving a radio signal across different elevations. The final nail in the coffin would be the lighting strike that, according to the chief, took out their radio communications.
 
This investment will help upgrade their communications to a new, state-of-the-art system. It will pay for the Bogota Police Department to build the necessary base for the infrastructure of the project, and cover nearly everything they need — which I know the Borough is very happy about — including 25 mobile radios, 16 car radios, and two complete dispatch consoles. It’ll also include antennas, microphones, and chargers. This will all help tie directly into county communications and with other towns, too. This investment won’t just help Bogota, but it’ll also support their mutual aid agreements with communities like Teaneck, Rochelle Park, and Hackensack.
 
It is absolutely critical, as all of our first responders know, that all emergency services are reliable, efficient, and swift in their communications and in their response. Lives depend on it. We remember sadly, back on 9/11, when many of our firefighters, police, and EMTs couldn’t communicate.
 
Second, today — on “Lower Tax Tuesday” — we’re also announcing a $954,000 federal public safety investment we’ve successfully clawed back from Washington for the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, which will be used to purchase new cameras for Bergen County roads and parks, as well as new mobile trailer message boards for emergency communication. 
 
The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for safeguarding a population of nearly one million residents, larger than that of many states, with more than 600 dedicated personnel. The Bergen Sheriff’s office assists the county's 70 municipalities and its 68 municipal police departments, and patrols and protects county roads, parks, and critical infrastructure.
 
To support these duties, this new federal investment will help purchase around 100 new cameras to be placed in strategic points along County roads and parks, which will help the Sheriff’s Office expand their ability to monitor incidents around the County. With the increase in car thefts in New Jersey — including a 54% increase in car thefts in Bergen County alone in 2022 — these cameras will keep tabs on cars entering our County parks. Don’t worry, these cameras will not be used for speeding tickets – that’s not allowed in Jersey. 
 
This new investment will also help the Sheriff’s Office purchase trailer mounted message boards to better communicate with the community during County park events, to direct traffic, to display security guidance, and during emergency incidents.
 
This new federal investment will help keep thousands of North Jersey residents and our brave first responders safe. There’s nothing partisan about that. And it keeps our tax dollars here, and away from the Moocher States.
 
Today’s announcement builds on the other investments I have fought for in Congress to help our first responders, including the AFG program, the COPS grant, the SAFER grant, the LESO program, and key initiatives to make sure our towns and police and fire departments have what they need to protect our families. 
 
Just this past Congress, I fought for investments to support local law enforcement, including for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) and a 32 percent increase for COPS hiring grants.
 
Bogota, Bergen County, and our local leaders — like those we have here with us today — are always thinking about our first responders. 
 
Since I’ve taken office, working with my team, they’ve won grants for everything from Bogota’s $94,000 utility truck, a $10,000 all terrain four-wheel vehicle, and even a new officer position, to 240 first aid kits and 200 field backpacks for the Bergen Sheriff’s Office.
 
Winning these grants takes hard work, both from the fire, police, and EMTs, county officials, and mayors and town councils. You’re competing with communities from Moocher States across America.
 
I’m proud to say that since I was elected in 2016, we’re up 357 percent in terms of what we’ve clawed back to Northern New Jersey. That meant $750 back to every household in the Fifth District in 2021 alone. This is truly a win-win-win for the taxpayers – and we’ve only done it by applying for, and advocating for grants for everything from firetrucks to generators to desks.
 
At the same time, as ever, I’m committed to rooting out all wasteful government spending, to eliminate red tape, and to do everything possible to cut our taxes.
 
Thank you to Bogota, the Police Department, Bergen County, and the Bergen Sheriff’s Office for fighting for these investments. 
 
Thank you to everyone here for what you do to keep us all safe, for your public service, for always getting our backs, and for supporting clawing more of our tax dollars back to Jersey.
 
I know that working together, here, in the greatest country in the world, our best days will always be ahead of us.
 
Thank you and God bless you and God bless the United States of America.
 

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