Fulop, Shea, officials talk violent crime, courts and policing at Jersey City forum


Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Public Safety Director James Shea and multiple other city officials engaged in a dialogue with residents in Lincoln Park about violent crime, the courts and policing last night.


Hosted at a jam packed Hank Gallo Center, Fulop kicked off the event by noting that their is a discrepancy between what is actually happening and how people feel in a community, further stating that he and the city directors plan on hosting a forum in each ward in the next month.

After a crime data breakdown packet was passed out for the audience, Shea answered a question about how the police department classifies shootings.

Fulop seemed to be intrigued when Kabil Tayari, a former deputy mayor, asked if crime statistics could distinguish between gang activity, gun trafficking and drug trafficking.

The mayor later stated that Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has been setting bail higher for violent offenders, making it more likely that they will spend their money on lawyers as opposed to bail.

Towards the tail end of the meeting, responding to a local pastor who felt that the Jersey City Police Department is too focused on enforcement, Shea argued that wasn’t the case.

Kevin Williamson, the city’s new recreation director, also addressed concerns about preventive measures to keep children out of the streets.

He explained that he plans on promoting all of his programs heavily through social media, welcomes community feedback and wants to work with Superintendent of Schools Marcia Lyles to bring recreation programs to the schools earlier – preferably around 3 or 4 p.m.

Other officials in attendance included Ward B Councilman Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal, Council President Rolando Lavarro, Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera, Freeholder Bill O’Dea (D-2) and Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31).

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  1. Reaching out to the public and gaining trust thru better policing is fantastic! But reaching kids before they get reached by gangs and the streets is the key to ending this epidemic of violence all across America. Leave no child behind, left out or alone! I have coached for 15 years and I can tell you kids that are involved in sports, clubs and community events tend to grow up as responsible adults. Programs that include children of less fortune who may not be able to pay to play sports, who reach out to those children often left alone by working parents for long periods of time. Kids who feel like outsiders among their peers and children who’s family members may have been involved in criminal activities. This is how you start to change the future of America and Jersey city. Gangs are recruiting everyday! Drugs is fast and easy money till these children get caught and then it’s to late. The boys and girls club is good but if you want real progress. Form a group like PAL (Police Athletic League) in the school system. Offer a sports program to all students, offer clubs. Have police dress down (in the schools) so kids see them as people, I don’t mean undercover but comfortable attire that kids won’t feel threatened.Many teachers know the boy or girl that has trouble fitting in and can help to recruit these kids into the program. The opportunities are endless when we start to change the way kids view the police, life and where they are heading in this world! Changing the way a child views us all is changing how they grow into an adult. It will also change the way parents view the police and the community they reside in. Trust is not a given it has to be earned.