The bitter financial dispute between the city of Newark and the New Jersey Devils has taken a new turn.


The city says it needs to scale back the police detail at the Prudential Center, the Devils' home arena. Devils fans noticed a shrunken police presence at Saturday's last regular-season game.

Mayor Corey Booker and police officials tell The Star-Ledger the cutback was planned before Newark last week lost a long-running dispute over revenue-sharing with the Devils. They say more officers are needed in neighborhoods amid growing retirements.


But Booker — who has called Devils managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek a "grade-a huckster" — says with more arena revenue "we could have hired more cops."

The Devils aren't commenting.

Booker took to his Twitter account after the story was published to further comment about the police detail during Devils games. Booker called "interesting" @darrenfiorello's opinion that "1/2 those cops just stand around socializing anyway. Should have cut'em back long time ago."

@Mstriffler1 criticized the move and tweeted, "If someone gets hurt outside the arena it's on you now." Replied Booker, "If someone gets hurt ANYWHERE in Newark its on me."

The city is promising more police for Stanley Cup playoff games.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.