More on Trenton's Crime - 2007
by Dan Dodson
In my June newsletter, I made the argument that Trenton really wasn't that dangerous. I got praise from the police department and caught flack from normal people.
Here's the reality.
Trentonians have managed to raise a bunch of knuckleheads. I am constantly amazed at both the number of misguided Trenton youth and the depths to which they have sunk. It's for this reason that I generally disregard the opinions of politicians and activists who tout their tenure in Trenton. Trentonians have coddled the parents who produced these miscreants and have repeatedly re-elected a government that either doesn't want to turn things around or doesn't know how.
The most recent outrage was carried out by three young people ages 14 & 16, a boy and two girls. They were caught on security cameras including mine, pictured here, on their way towards painting graffiti throughout Trenton's Mill Hill neighborhood. They caused damage to buildings, cars and our personal sense of safety.
And now for the stupid part, they did this at 6:00 am in broad daylight with witnesses including the ones captured on my security camera.
These kids have parents, and neither the parents nor the children have shown any remorse or have apologized to the citizens they terrorized. In a well governed city, parents such as these, would be held accountable and the children would be scrubbing sidewalks for the foreseeable future.
Thanks to the police for catching the little hoodlums but shame on us for not making examples out of them.
No one got hurt but I won't blame newsletter readers if they are concerned about this and other recent incidents.
What we need is federal and state help to apply a crushing, no tolerance press on crime in Trenton. We need to break the backs of Trenton's gangs by chasing down every drug transaction, graffiti incident and motor vehicle violation in the city.
Trentonians won't like it because they'll complain about civil liberties. To them I say what about the civil liberties of law abiding property owners and parents who suffer at the hands of Mayor Palmer's generation of thugs.
It's not so much the crime itself but the effect it has on our economy (of course every so often an innocent does get hurt). Every nutty incident sends a message to outsiders and businesses to stay away. We just can't have this any longer.
We need a mayor and a police director with the guts to take aggressive and broad ranging action. If there's decent mayoral candidate out there please let me know.
Dan Dodson is a management consultant and Leadership Trenton Fellow.
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Copyright 2007, Dan Dodson