Going back to the basics: Paterson police launch foot patrols across town

An effort to combat crime and establish community relationships in Paterson has police going back to the basics and launching foot patrols.

News 12 Staff

Apr 12, 2021, 4:21 PM

Updated 1,134 days ago

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An effort to combat crime and establish community relationships in Paterson has police going back to the basics and launching foot patrols.
It kicked off in the business district.
A spike in crime, a growing number of illegal guns and distrust in police officers, all combined, caused the police department to take a look at itself and figure out what to do.
Antonio Rodriguez has been a business owner on 21st Avenue since 1983. From his pharmacy, he's watched the community surrounding the business district change over the decades. More recently, he's seen a spike in crime.
“We only need the extra help with police presence because it was getting kind of dangerous to walk around here,” says Rodriguez.
New officers, partnered with veteran officers, are going out in the community.
“When these merchants, residents see police officers, we hope they establish a relationship and restore trust between police and public,” says Mayor Andre Sayegh.
According to the city, more than 100 Paterson police officers were laid off in 2011. For the past decade, the department has been working to get the officers back, as well as their visible street presence.
“There is no quality of life if you don't feel safe in your community and that's what this program will bring,” says Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale. “That's what this is all about, good old-fashioned policing.”
The foot patrols will be ongoing through at least the summer and will target different crime hot spots in Paterson. The department is still working on hiring back the same number of officers who were laid off in 2011.


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