PATRICK CULLEN: ‘Let’s see actual people training.’
DENNIS QUIRK: ‘Short-handed every day.’
JANET DiFIORE: New Static with unions.
Although the Office of Court Administration expects to deploy about 400 newly hired recruits as Court Officers by late spring, the presidents of two unions representing employees in that job say the hiring surge is insufficient to address what they characterize as an enduring security staff shortage within state and city courts.
A spokesman for the Office of Court Administration said 130 Court Officers would be deployed this month and another 270 by late spring. “We share the City’s two court-officer unions’ concerns that additional officers are needed to open up more court parts and we have been working to resolve that for months,” the spokesman, Lucian Chalfen, said in a statement.
But neither Dennis Quirk nor Patrick Cullen, the presidents of the New York State Court Officers Association and the New York State Supreme Court Officers Association, respectively, were convinced.
While he welcomed the announcement of new hires, Mr. Cullen was skeptical the number of new officers would reach 400. He said OCA had a history of inflating hiring numbers. And even with an influx of Court Officers, courts in just the city would still be short about 400 security personnel, he said.
“Until there are actual people in this academy and being trained…then and only then will we believe they are serious about security,” he said, referring to the imminent opening of the Brooklyn site long planned as a training facility.