Christie calls PBA president a ‘pension pig’ in war of words
Gov. Chris Christie and New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Colligan engaged in a long distance war of words about pensions and Christie's record.
The first salvo was fired by Colligan during an interview with WNYC radio posted to the PBA's Facebook page in which Colligan said the PBA has had no relationship with the governor and that Christie has "systematically started degrading the law enforcement profession in New Jersey" through budget cuts, layoffs and a new requirement that officers must work an additional 5 years for their pension.
Colligan also criticized the creation of the Camden County Police and the resulting layoff of the entire city of Camden police force. "Morale is terrible, the pay is terrible" and officers move onto jobs in better paying communities."
Christie's support of law enforcement during his presidential campaign also came under fire by Colligan who called Christie "an attorney with a cushy job for a few years "who's never put on a protective vest, worn a gun or made an arrest." "He's not working in the environment of 2015 where people don't seem to want to obey lawful orders."
When asked about Colligan's comments during a "Law Enforcement for Christie" campaign event in Concord, NH, Christie called Colligan a "pension pig" who also hasn't worn a gun in years and is more of a politician who doesn't represent the views of the rank-and-file. "Rank-and-file law enforcement men and women have voted for me in overwhelming numbers in both my elections in New Jersey." He described himself as "the person who’s tried to repair their pension system for them, as well after years of neglect and mismanagement and broken promises."
On the PBA's Facebook page, Colligan fired back by accusing Christie of lying about pensions to officers. "This is a man who has proven time and again he will say and do whatever it takes to claw his way to the next political position." He also said that he still wears a badge-and-gun on the job. “Unlike the governor, I was on duty today in New Jersey and, like most days, I was wearing a badge and a gun."