It’s 2014. With the new year in place we can now begin the age old adage of attempting to fulfill our resolutions. For some it will include returning to school to get a masters degree or a bachelors degree. For others it might include changing furniture in their home or trying to figure out better ways to save money this year than last year.
Yes, that goes along with the territory of every January. However, there are issues at hand that need immediate attention. Violence has become an epidemic in Paterson. Education on how to help prevent violence is essential. Changing the mindset of the people is the fundamental element needed to begin rebuilding the part of our city that is not doing well.
Ignoring and or otherwise trying to minimize an issue does not negate it’s existence. And until we can all agree that violence is a problem, no solution can ever be actualized. The main objective is to bring all races, ethnicities, religious leaders and groups to the same table at the same time. Because violence anywhere is a threat to safety everywhere. That’s a fact.
So what’s the real challenge? In my opinion, the real challenge is trying to get everyone to look past their personal desires to upstage the next person and focus on the greater good for all Paterson citizens. Another challenge is trying to establish community policing units which are comprised of residents who live in the neighborhoods who are deputized to patrol areas.
We cannot expect outside forces to aide us in our efforts to bring about peace in Paterson. It must be an inside effort. We live here and therefore we must take the charge to bring our city back to its heyday – it’s former glory. I’m certain that with an organized effort from all of the community residents and leaders alike, we can and will be able to see safer streets in 2014.
We have to learn how to coexist in a most harmonious manner. It’s not being a ‘punk’ or being ‘soft’ as some may suggest. It’s about learning that we all live here together. As such, we need to make it better for all of us, not just a select few. It’s all or nothing at all. This city is in dire need of unity and a collective effort that transcends race, religion, creed or kind.
All the best,
Corey L. Teague