PATERSON, NJ - At a Beef Steak fundraiser Wednesday night, the 35th legislative district honored Bergen and Passaic County Public Safety Officers. The well-attended first event held at Paterson’s Brownstone House paid
tribute to police, sheriff and fire fighters.

“Safety is an issue. You can’t put numbers on it,” said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35), fundraiser organizer and emcee. “We honor a lot of people for education or sports. Not too often has there been honoring of public safety officials by a non public safety official. As an elected official, I wanted to let them know how much I sincerely appreciate them.”

The unified assemblage of Public Safety Officers represented a more focused need to bridge the communication gap between law enforcement and community.

“We have to keep our cities safe, without law enforcement and fire departments, our cities are in danger,” commented Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31), Jersey City.

Mainor, who chairs the Assembly Law and Safety Committee, indicated his intent to introduce a bill that will hire more law enforcement officers rather than just police officers.

“You often hear the term balancing the budget on the backs of children," Wimberly said. "Well, you are balancing the budget on the backs of people’s lives when you cut police officers.”

“I don’t think there are any police officers cheering for criminals. Nobody wants to have a certain amount of people in jail," he added. "We are here for prevention. The bottom line is everything. You can have all the education in the world, all the money in the world but if you walk around and can’t be safe how valuable is any of it. I will continue to fight to make sure whatever funding, grants can be done or I can influence on a state, federal or local level, because the only thing we all want is safety.”

He cited his public safety bills, including A-588, A-490, A-1196, A-806, and A-184, which are before the NJ Legislature.

Special recognition awards presented included Bronze Heat and Bronze Shield of Passaic County to Dalton
Price, President, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Bergen and Passaic County’s Public Sheriffs and Safety Officers.