ORANGE, NJ – On behalf of The City of Orange Township, I offer our prayers for the families and friends of Michael Brown and Eric Garner as the world grapples with issues of justice and fatal confrontations with law enforcement personnel.   Too many interactions between young men of color and police are having deadly consequences nationwide.  

Therefore, I join the voices of calm and reason in calling for ways to effect change without violence. My first in a series of initiatives will be a proposal to the Orange Board of Education to include in the high school driver education curriculum a presentation from the City’s Police and Law Departments on traffic stops.  The presentation will specifically provide guidance to new drivers on interaction with law enforcement during traffic stops or checkpoints. I believe such instruction could help prevent future tragedies. I am also requesting that the Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) develop a similar training tool for young people who may confront law enforcement on foot.

I urge all municipalities, local organizations and schools to commit to public education programs such as we propose, that will help to foster a better relationship between police and the community.  We must all reflect on these tragedies and use the lessons we learn to prevent more violence in our communities, as well as foster mutual respect and understanding between law enforcement professionals and the citizens they have sworn to protect.