Government

Ahead of City ID Launch, New Brunswick Tries a Test Run

d6a318ab3e7fed3fb4b6_id_nb.jpg
Residents applaud the establishment of the city ID program in June
d6a318ab3e7fed3fb4b6_id_nb.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Don't ask Bob Belvin how the machine works. He attributes it to magic.

What matters is that it does work.

That's one thing that Belvin, head of New Brunswick's public library, is testing. The machine is a high-tech one used to verify the validity of personal documents, like a driver's license. The device will be used to help launch the city's budding municipal identification program, which aims to supply residents—including undocumented immigrants, homeless people and victims of domestic violence—with photo ID cards.

Sign Up for E-News

Belvin and his library staff have been tapped to administer the program. Right now, he said during the Sept. 6 City Council meeting, they're testing the roughly $20,000 worth of new hardware and the process for actually getting ID cards into residents' hands.

Their trial run will span about 90 test subjects—people selected from local organizations, including the Esperanza Neighborhood Project, Unity Square and Women Aware. Some of these groups lobbied and helped design the program, and now their members are essentially beta-testing it, hoping to reveal any kinks in the system, Belvin said.

“What we want to make sure of, is that when those 90 people and then the hundreds after them come in,” he added, “if people have followed the instructions, we can get them in, get them out, get them done and everything is going to run right.”

And the city ID administrators have met some challenges.

One example, Belvin said, came to light thanks to Women Aware, which serves survivors of domestic violence. Abusive spouses often don't let their victims keep any paperwork, like birth certificates or social security cards, as a way to control them, Belvin said.

That's troublesome for the ID program because staff members must be able to confirm a cardholder's identity, he said.

“So we're going to have to work out how we can help those people,” he added, “because they need documents.”

The ID cards are important because they allow people to access city services and benefits, officials have said. Notably, they connect marginalized groups—like undocumented immigrants, the homeless and survivors of domestic abuse—to the system, a feat that's often difficult for any number of reasons.

New Brunswick's city council approved the creation of the program in June. By the end of this month, it's slated to go live, officials said.

In fact, Belvin's staff started scheduling appointments this week for residents who wish to obtain a card. The first one is set for Sept. 25, according to the city. To book a sit-down, residents may call the library at 732-745-5108.

As of Wednesday evening, about 90 people had requested meetings, Belvin said. New Brunswick expects as many as 1,500 people to apply for the cards within the first six months of the program's life.

And that anticipated surge of applications makes this window all the more important for Belvin and his team.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - May 23, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Sex can be an almost-religious experience, but it seems a bit excessive to copulate under a statue of the Virgin Mary in a Catholic church's outdoor prayer garden. Yet, that's where ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 22, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


MANVILLE - If marijuana becomes legal in New Jersey, here's another town where you won't be able to buy it: Manville. The mayor and council unanimously voted to prohibit any sale of weed - recreational and medicinal - within Manville's borders. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 21, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


STATEWIDE - Should public school students be allowed to attend schools in other towns? That's the big, controversial question in a lawsuit filed against the state that looks to end what some consider to be the worst school segregation in the nation. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 18, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

IN COURT - Sounds like a cheesy thing to do, but the NJ Turnpike Authority has gone to court for years trying to stop a pizzeria chain whose logo is suspiciously similar to our beloved Garden State Parkway sign. Sure, nobody wants drivers searching for an on-ramp to end ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 17, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

MOUNTAINSIDE - Oh, where to begin describing this 46-page lawsuit against two Mountainside cops? A detective sergeant placing his testicles on co-workers' food. And throwing poop-smeared toilet tissue at them. And defecating in someone's boots. And taunting with a dildo dubbed "Big Blue" he liked to wave in cops' faces, as he chased ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 16, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ATLANTIC CITY - Happy days are here again, as the state's once gasping gaming resort is expecting sports betting will rake in $150 million to $175 million a year in new, glorious profits - courtesy of your pals on the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, ecstatic Stockton University officials believe, this recharged gambling mecca will bring in a whole new ...

Rutgers Athletics Signs Dyehard Fan Supply to New Multi-Year Agreement

May 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Rutgers Athletics has selected Dyehard Fan Supply, an event and retail merchandise marketing and e-commerce company, as the official merchandising partner for the Scarlet Knights in a new multi-year agreement.Dyehard will handle game day and event merchandising for Rutgers Athletics.

“We’re excited to expand gameday merchandising options and elevate ...

Newark man given 22-year sentence for kidnapping, sexual asault of Rutgers student

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Newark man was sentenced Friday to 22 years in prison for the 2016 kidnapping and sexual assault of a Rutgers University student on the school campus in New Brunswick.

Michael Knight, 40, of Newark must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement today.

Superior Court Judge ...

Rutgers center battles noise pollution nationwide

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  - Eric Zwerling got a call this week from a man was living next to a fitness center, complaining he repeatedly heard the loud thud heavy free weights and medicine balls hit the floor.

The man was recovering from having a pace maker in his chest and wondering of the impact of the noise from the gym.

“I’ve received thousands of calls,” said Zwerling, ...

OPINION

Here's How to Help Protect Young Athletes from Injury: Let Them Play Multiple Sports

May 1, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick:

One of the responsibilities that parents take most seriously is protecting their children from injury, whether it is buckling seat belts in a car or wearing a helmet while riding a bike. And when their kids become teenagers and want to participate in sports or other activities, parents do everything they can to keep their sons and daughters from getting ...

Department of Human Services Awards Teens for Creativity in Celebrating Their Family Tree

May 24, 2018

(TRENTON) - The New Jersey Department of Human Services on Wednesday honored 12 New Jersey high school and middle school students for their winning entries in the 2018 New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which celebrated the students’ artistic and written word portrayal of how their family tree may look.

The contest hosted by the department’s Division of Family Development focused on ...