Violence in Our Suburbs Mounts

Dear Editor, 

This past summer was the most violent in our area’s history.   First was the horrific home invasion in Millburn where a woman was nearly beaten to death in front of her children.  Then, the carjacking at gunpoint in Chatham.  Summit saw two violent strong armed robberies and a man arrested on Morris Avenue with a cache of illegal arms.

How did our Mayor and Council react?   We were treated to any number of inane assertions that somehow, their decision to effectively reduce the police patrol force by 5% was actually making us safer, because after all, “crime was down.”   So instead of restoring cuts to our first responders, they committed another $650,000 on top of the $800,000 they wasted on the failed Deforest Avenue parking lots.  This waste of nearly $1.5 million tax dollars would have paid for 2 police officers for the next ten years.

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A local paper recently headlined that crime in NJ “dropped  4 percent in 2013.”   However, the first paragraph of the article stated “…but homicides and rapes reached six year highs…”  Statistics are for politicians.  The murder last month at the Short Hills mall speaks for itself.   Less known is that on that same Saturday night, there was a murder in Newark, followed by another murder that Sunday.   Newark is a mere 15 minutes away.  Two weeks later, there were 4 murders in nearby Irvington.  And then another carjacking at gunpoint in Short Hills last week.  This not “fear mongering”.it is reality. Leadership is being proactive.  Politics is being rhetorical.  

The single most important function of a Mayor and Council is to keep the Community safe.    This year Summit has to stop the wasting tax dollars on special interests and restore the cuts to police and fire.  We need to keep our first responders and our residents safe.


Mike Vernotico

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