PATERSON, NJ- One by one city leaders stood behind the podium and delivered the same message, the ribbon they were about to cut on what has commonly been referred to as a 6th Ward police substation was “just the beginning.”

For Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh it was a reflection of the efforts he has helped lead during his time as councilman to make the growing South Paterson community “safer and stronger.”

“This is what teamwork looks like” said Sayegh, who is less than 48 hours away from taking the oath to become mayor before promising that it was an initiative he would continue to pursue in all six wards. “This is a model for the entire city.”

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Paterson Library Director Corey Fleming celebrated the opening of the location that is housed in the South Paterson Library Branch telling TAPinto Paterson that any time the library and police department can team up it’s a “win-win.”

“We serve the same audience,” he said before expressing his belief that the new partnership will allow for additional programming that will serve residents throughout the city well.

Renovated by the Paterson Department Works, the new facility will be home to the Paterson Police Department’s Community Policing Division, and will provide them with space to interact directly with residents, including through the implementation of the $1 million Anti-Violence Youth Policing Program which will provide 200 local students with a variety of training and community service activities during the summer months.

The space, which includes a large room with tables and chairs that can fit approximately 50, will also be accessible as a “safe haven” for students during after-school hours.

Watching as the crowd grew was 12-year old Moneeb, a student at the Dr. Hani Awadallah School. “Paterson is a nice community, but people don’t always take care of it,” Moneeb said. The new substation, he hopes, will “help clear away the bad people,” and attract more visitors to the vibrant neighborhood.

Also on hand was Dulce Suriel who attended the ribbon-cutting with her daughter and two young granddaughters. Like Moneeb, Suriel was excited to see the substation open and believes that it will help to make families feel safer, making the library a more frequent destination.

The South Paterson Library, and new Paterson Community Policing Division office, is located at 930 Main Street.