PATERSON, NJ- The Paterson Police Department is taking a stand against loud groups congregating and disrupting the quality of life in neighborhoods across the city.
In a Friday press conference city officials, led by Mayor Andre Sayegh, announced the establishment of a Quality of Life patrol that will be, according to Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale, “a game changer.”
The six designated vehicles, one for each ward of the city, will respond directly to noise and other complaints, and, through strong enforcement and a “zero tolerance” policy, make sure that people understand that “anything goes doesn’t go in Paterson anymore.”
Speziale himself, Sayegh reminded those assembled, was assigned to a similar effort during his career with the NYPD, reflecting again the local adoption of a “broken windows” style of policing popularized by former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.
“You address small problems before they become big ones,” Sayegh said, offering his belief that by tackling quality of life issues directly the City of Paterson will be able to benefit from reduced violence such as the recent shooting death of a 16-year-old Paterson boy.
The style of policing works, Speziale said sharing that “if you told me then that people would be going to see The Lion King on Broadway,” before trailing off.
The refocused attention on the issue came to the forefront on Memorial Day when, as the time approached midnight, 6th Ward Councilman Al Abdelaziz and Councilman at Large Flavio Rivera witnessed as many as 75 cars and 150 individuals gathered at the spot where the Friday press conference took place.
“It was an outdoor concert,” Abdelaziz said. “The residents in this city deserve the same quality of life residents have in other towns.”
“This is about being responsible to the taxpayers,” Rivera added. “We did not get elected to make excuses, we got elected to take action.”
Suggesting that the time is long overdue for those creating noise and the other infractions the newly established unit will seek to tackle to face “consequences” Rivera concluded with a prediction that “good things are yet to come.”
The new unit, Speziale told TAPinto Paterson, will initially be in operation Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, eventually to be “modified accordingly” based on its success.
“We are sending a strong message,” Sayegh said of the collaboration between the executive and legislative branches of the local government. “We are stepping forward as a united front.”
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