PATERSON, NJ- The man responsible for bringing a voice to the more than 400 members of the Paterson Police Department is the latest entrant into the race to be the next Mayor of Paterson.

“Paterson has been home my entire life,” Alex Cruz, President, PBA Local 1, told TAPinto Paterson after picking up his petitions on Thursday. “I have worked on these streets for two decades and because of that, I have an understanding, unlike any of the other candidates, regarding the changes that need to be made in order to bring our city back to its former glory.”

Speaking to the growing diversity of Paterson, and the recognized need to elect a mayor that can break through the perceived barriers, communicating effectively with residents no matter their ethnic background, religious beliefs, or cultural upbringing Cruz said that “public safety is an issue that brings everyone together. Whether it’s the First Ward or the Sixth, or anywhere in between, residents need to be safe in their homes and in their neighborhoods.”

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Referring to his police work as his career he continued that his efforts to uplift the lives of others, whether through the toy drives he’s helped spearhead, his recent trip to Puerto Rico to bring relief after the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, or the many groups he has worked hand in hand with, has always been his “vocation.”

“I’ve always done it because I love it, it’s important for me,” Cruz said. “Paterson is in my blood, it’s my passion.”

And it’s his dedication to his “passion” Cruz offered, that caused him to consider more closely the state of Paterson, where it can and should be, and who’s already announced their intention to lead. “I look at the names, and I know them all, I’ve worked with them all, I know what they are capable of.” 

Asked whether he any of the other candidates have the ability to bring the sort of change that he believes Paterson needs he said “their records, for those that have any, unfortunately prove otherwise.”

It’s not just public safety that Cruz said he would focus on if elected. “Creating jobs, building parks, fixing our classrooms, these all matter,” Cruz stated firmly. However, he continued, “this all starts with making our residents, and the visitors that we hope to attract, not just be safe, but feel safe.”

Ultimately, for Cruz, building Paterson starts with the city’s children, “getting them off the streets, giving them a sense of hope,” he said. “Our kids need role models, they need to know that our community cares for them, and that we want to give them an opportunity to build better lives.”

Asked what was the deciding factor in embarking on a campaign Cruz wasted no time saying “family. No man can fully succeed without the backing and blessing of his family.”

Cruz brings the number of candidates currently intending to appear on the May ballot to 13. In order to qualify candidates must collect and turn in 815 signatures of Paterson voters to the City Clerk by 4:00 p.m. on March 5, 2018.

Voters will have the opportunity to go to the polls on May 8.