Neighborhood Association Petitions for Substations
Thursday, September 12, 2013 • 9:34pm
PATERSON, NJ - The Eastside Neighborhood Association is petitioning to change an old horse barn into a police substation.
The association says a strong police presence in Eastside Park will reduce crime in the area; Mayor Jones says other alternatives should be used if residents feel safety is an issue.
Eastside Park, located in the City’s 3rd ward, houses a horse barn previously used by the Sherriff’s department, according to Eastside Neighborhood Association President Michael Symonds. Currently, the venue is empty.
Symonds’ says the barn house would be an ideal location for the Paterson Police Department and the Passaic County Sherriff’s office alike.
“It would drastically reduce the possibility of crime or drug related activity in the Park and the general area,” said Symonds.
So far, the association received a donation from the Islamic Center of Passaic County for the project, and is looking to partner with the city for the rest of the funds.
The Department of Public Works assessed the remaining cost of renovating the barn house, but is not able to release the figures without the Mayor’s approval, according to Symonds.
“We have a $10,000 commitment which will further reduce any costs involved. I am sure we can get volunteer neighborhood labor to help with work the project,” said Symonds. “We just need the Mayor to give the go ahead so we can all work together and get this done.”
Mayor Jones, who says he would be willing to meet with the neighborhood association, says the city just doesn’t have the funds to support such a project. Jones says other measures could be put in place if there are safety concerns.
“I’m open to the discussion but it has to make sense,” said Jones.
Officers already patrol the area, according to Jones, but he’s open to putting class one officers in the area.
“I did talk to my Chief of Police and our limited resources don’t allow me to have a substation there.”
Instead, the venue should be used to create revenue, according to Jones.
“It should be a concession stand, in my opinion,” said Jones.
While Symonds says Jones was originally keen to the idea, Jones says the arrangement was made with the previous Mayor.
The electronic petition has 72 signatures so far, according to change.org
The Department of Public Works and Director Glenn Brown were unable to be reached for comment.