Letters to the Editor

Why I Have Joined Sandy Hook Promise

55e584c9f3ef5825f2d4_Mayor_Al_Smith.jpg
fb6a72a7817ea085d1da_Letter_to_the_Editor_logo.jpg
55e584c9f3ef5825f2d4_Mayor_Al_Smith.jpg

Dear Editor:

Since the day I was sworn-in as Mayor, I have made the safety of Scotch Plains residents, especially our children, my highest priority.

Working with the Township Council, Police Chief Conley and his dedicated Police department, we have added two new police officers and various promotions to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our Police force. School safety is always at the top of our list when we meet to discuss safety issues.

Sign Up for E-News

This past Wednesday, I convened a meeting with Scotch Plains Police Chief Conley, Fanwood Police Chief Trigo, Superintendent Dr. Hayes, School Business Administrator Debbie Saridaki, Office of Emergency Management Director Dennis VanNatta, and Fanwood Councilman Anthony Carter to discuss additional measures to enhance school safety and preparedness. I have also had discussions with concerned residents and parents. Rest assured, that ensuring the safety of our children and schools is the highest priority for me, and as I have been doing since sworn-in, I will continue to meet with officials to make sure our schools and children are safe.

To help with our efforts, I have joined Sandy Hook Promise, a national non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The mission of Sandy Hook Promise is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning tragedy into a moment of transformation by providing programs and practices that protect children and prevent the senseless, tragic loss of life. We must reach out and help lost souls before they commit acts of violence. I plan to bring the programs promoted by Sandy Hook Promise to Scotch Plains through the Mayor’s Wellness Program so stay tuned for more information. You can learn more here: https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/

I will also be speaking with our state and federal representatives about gun legislation. I believe that we can pass regulations and laws to prevent gun violence while still preserving and protecting the 2nd amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

One bill is A-1217/S-975, which authorizes courts to issue gun violence restraining orders to persons who pose a significant risk of personal injury to themselves or others by possessing or owning a firearm. I do have some suggestions to improve the bill to ensure due-process, but the purpose of the bill is to provide law enforcement officers in New Jersey with the means to take away firearms from persons whose friends or family have reported them as being mentally unstable.  If this law was in effect in Florida, the Parkland tragedy might not have happened.

Another bill is A-2757, which requires all sales or other transfers of firearms to be conducted through a retail dealer licensed under State law or a Federal Firearms Licensee. The licensee would be required to complete a National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) on the recipient of the firearm.

I have contacted Scotch Plains’ State legislative delegation and the Governor’s office requesting them to support the bills. I will be at our State Capitol in Trenton on March 14 for the Mayor’s Legislative day to advocate for these bills and other Scotch Plains priorities.

We have been called to action. And I will answer this call. Please join me in these efforts.

Mayor Al Smith

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...

What Are The Warning Signs of Suicide

The recent passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us to take mental illness seriously. 

Many of us feel uncomfortable to ask when someone in distress is suicidal for fear we are putting this thought in their minds. This is not true. It is a myth that asking about suicide increases the risk of suicide. The most common mental illness is depression. Some people are ...

Greatness

In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

We Must Address The Unrealistic Affordable Housing Process Now

June 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank all the residents who attended and watched last Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting on over-development and legislative solutions with Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and I. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to watch the meeting on SPTV or the Township’s Facebook page at ().

The meeting was a real eye-opener for many of our residents. It ...

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019 and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 23, 2018

June 21, 2018  – Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it will award a total of 13 grants to 11 local community non-profit organizations in its nine-county service area for 2018-19, with an increase in total program funding at 15% year over year.

Since its founding in 1997, Komen North Jersey has awarded nearly $19 million to local community programs in nine North Jersey ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Terrill Road Baptist Chruch, Scotch Plains

LifeWay’s 2018 Vacation Bible School at Terrill ...

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_2e8d9f350d4d75f38fc3_beads

Mon, July 9, 10:00 AM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Join the Summer Jewelry Making Club at the Scotch ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness Home & Garden

Carousel_image_76848b407a4811fa9255_salt

Mon, July 9, 7:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Learn about Gourmet Salt at the Scotch Plains ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink