HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A total of 53 employees of Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino's office were told on Wednesday that they could be laid off or demoted as of June 12, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Daily Voice.
The breakout: 31 layoffs and 22 demotions, the sources told Daily Voice.
(A different news outlet reported 26 layoffs and 11 demotions.)
The staffers were required to report to the sheriff's office in Hackensack Wednesday afternoon to personally receive their notices of potential layoff, Saudino's public information director, William Schievella told Daily Voice.
But the employees said the message was clear.
Providing the 45-day notice required by state law, the sheriff said he was considering the moves "for reasons of efficiency and economy."
"Confronted with changes in the law and other requirements -- including a mandate that requires an expansion of the scope of security in state courthouses -- my office is in the process of restructuring law enforcement staffing levels," Saudino told Daily Voice.
"This process will take a number of weeks to complete and is consistent with the public policy declared in the Memorandum of Agreement signed in January, 2015 by the Bergen County Sheriff, the Bergen County Prosecutor, the Bergen County Executive, and the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders," he noted.
Saudino reaffirmed his "continued commitment to provide law enforcement services in the most efficient and economic manner, without ever compromising the safety of the public or any law enforcement officer."
In an earlier notice posted at the sheriff's office, Saudino said it was "not possible to determine the exact effect that this layoff action will have on each employee."
It "may be affected by the exercise of the seniority, lateral, demotional, and/or special reemployment rights of other employees," he wrote, adding that the Civil Service Commission would make those determinations.
Employees may appeal under Civil Service guidelines, the sheriff said.