Crime in Trenton - 2007





by Dan Dodson

A Trenton Lofts reader writes,

"Our main concern is with safety--should we be concerned? "

My reply,

"It's fun to remind people who are scared to set foot in Trenton that they're sissies. After all, out of the 86,000 people living in Trenton, around 60,000 are women and children. That means that 60,000 women and children are less scared of their shadow than the typical suburbanite.

Meanwhile, as it turns out we do have crime in Trenton. Also, we’re a city of only 7.5 Sq. miles so I guess it's true that the crime that does happen isn't all that far away. Not only that, there has been crime in Mill Hill.

That said, I don't personally know anybody that's been stabbed or shot and I've lived here for 6 years. I do know people who know people that have."

In addition to this, I will say that we've had a little string of crime issues near the Trenton Train Station recently. No one likes to talk about this, but its true.

There I said it. We have a problem with crime near the train station. Every developer in Trenton touts their proximity to the train station and one of Mill Hill's biggest attraction is being walking distance. I'll wait for our city leaders to start yelling at me.

A big part of our crime problem though, is that the city, state and private owners don't maintain their property. The State has let the area under the Rt. 1 overpass go to seed. This makes it an attractive living space for the homeless and other miscreants. The building next to me had to be torn town and now I have a thouroughfare for all sorts of deviants including a fine young man who thought it was a good idea to hold is wanker in his hand (exposed) as he walked in front of my window in broad daylight. I called the police on him, who by the way are very responsive.

So, we have crime in Trenton and we have citizens who were clearly raised by wolves. But my gosh nobody's getting hurt or seriously robbed. I've had around $500 of property stolen or damaged in the 6 years I've lived in Trenton. Compare that to the $800 I had stolen in West Windsor in one year.

It's human nature to be uncomfortable with people who don't look like them. But when you hear someone say "Trenton isn't safe", consider the underlying fear.

Dan Dodson is a management consultant and Leadership Trenton Fellow.

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Copyright 2007, Dan Dodson