The Edison Blog: Edison, New Jersey

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Crime wave

Posted by edison1205 on January 16, 2010


Although the level of debate on the nj.com Edison forum can be biased, anti-intellectual, and downright bigoted at time, it’s not as if we never read it; it is, after all, the most active blog or forum in the town at the moment.  And it gives a good picture of what’s on people’s minds.  So we’ve been reading all this discussion about Mayor Choi’s police and fire promotions, and how they were reversed by Mayor Ricigliano.

It’s not news that the police and fire departments are very factionalized, and as our Edison & The Law page shows, these factions are making heavy use of our federal and state court system and our administrative agencies, apparently unable to work out their differences with discussion, mediation, or other forms of dispute resolution short of lawsuits.

While all this is going on, however, Edison’s crime statistics are not looking so hot.  In 2008 our crime rate was 2.4 violent crimes per 1000 residents and 22.1 nonviolent crimes per 1000 residents, for a total rate of 24.5/1000.  These included 6 rapes, 83 robberies and 147 aggravated assaults.

Only three towns in Middlesex County have higher crime rates – New Brunswick (58.4), Woodbridge (30.3) and Perth Amboy (27.7).  Twenty-one towns have lower rates.  You can go to our Statistics page and click on crime reports for the sourcing for this.

We think this just stinks and that we need a major reduction in the crime rates here, and we need it now.  And while these stats go back to 2008, the bloggers at www.edisongrassoots.com have done a great job discussing some of the muggings, robberies, and sexual assaults that have been reported since the beginning of the year.  As far as we know, none of those crimes have been solved as of yet.

We need improvements in public safety and we need it now.

I don’t know exactly what would produce lower crime.  Maybe it’s more officers on patrol, maybe it’s more detectives to solve crimes, and maybe it’s more supervisory officers to coordinate and lead.  And yes, maybe some of these steps will lead to more tax money going to pay police salaries and benefits.

But the discussion about whether the police department needs promotions and if so, who should have been promoted, is just self-centered squabbling for now.

“Me! Me! Me!  My buddy! My buddy! My buddy!  I was entitled!  He’s a friend of Choi! He dissed Spadoro!  He worked on the Ricigliano campaign!”

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Until we get a reasoned explanation of how police hiring, promotions, and demotions will help the law-abiding residents of Edison and stop the crime wave now underway, we should ignore the squabbling.  It only diverts attention from the real issues.

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