Dear Editor I am a past member of the Denville Policeman’s Benevolent Association and I have been watching the Denville mayoral race unfold. I have also been reading several letters written by current and former Denville elected officials. My letter is simply to set the record straight and provide some information on the topics that were included in those letters and to properly and truthfully point out the facts. An editorial published on October 17th, indicates that “our schools are safer thanks to the Class III officers in our schools.” This is an accurate statement. However, the safety enhancement was accomplished by the efforts of past Chief Chris Wagner and Denville School Superintendent Steve Forte who worked tirelessly for more than a year to have state lawmakers introduce a bill creating the position of a Class III officer. There was little to no input from the mayor or council on this topic. It is unfair and inaccurate for anyone but Chief Wagner, Mr. Forte and the New Jersey lawmakers to claim credit for this accomplishment. Thanks to them, children across the state of New Jersey are safer today then they were prior to the legislation. On October 24th, an editorial mentioned Denville was “rated NJ’s 8th safest city by Safewise.” This is something the police take pride in and we continue to strive to make our community safer every day. Once again, an accomplishment by the members of the Denville Police Department, not the mayor or council. Quite an accomplishment considering the cut in manpower and resources we experienced with Mayor Andes. On October 25th a letter to the editor mentioned that the current mayor “worked to keep Denville a true family town by addressing problems with illegal massage locations.” While ordinances were passed to allow regulation and enforcement of illegitimate businesses, the creation and introduction of the ordinance was made at the request of the police department. The members of the health and police departments actively enforce the ordinance and have made a significant impact on the problem. On October 22nd a letter was published entitled, “Anything but Andes is crazy.” This is insulting to the residents who may not share this opinion and is inconsistent with a track record of this administration which included efforts at replacing our Denville Dispatchers with a county dispatch system. Had this initiative been successful, residents would have reached a county dispatcher unfamiliar with our town instead of a local Denville dispatcher. The Denville Police fought hard against this measure and we were successful. We have also seen the number of cops on the street decreased by as high as 10% during the seven years of the current administration Both, in our view, are moves that jeopardize our safety and the safety of residents of Denville. There was a lot of hard work and commitment performed by members of our association that contributed to the achievements mentioned in this letter. This sentiment is echoed by many other individuals who worked hard to achieve great things in our township which are now being touted by the current administration as their accomplishments. Leaders should praise their people, be it volunteers, employees, or residents, when a mission is accomplished. Leaders should also take ownership when the mission fails. We simply ask Mayor Andes and those council members to run on their own record, not assume credit for the accomplishments of others. I wish both candidates the best of luck in the upcoming weeks and on election night. I thank Mayor Andes for his service but feel strongly that the time for change is now. There are many pressing issues in town that will require the expertise of someone who has devoted her life to public service. Ellen Sandman enjoys decades of experience, public service and most importantly service to Denville as our former Business Administrator. She has the tools and spirit to lead Denville into the future. Sincerely, Denville Police Captain Paul Nigro (retired)
Ellen Sandman Has the Tools and Spirit to Lead Denville
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