Paterson mayor Torres cancels National Night Out anti-crime event | Paterson Times

Paterson mayor Torres cancels National Night Out anti-crime event


Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres has pulled the plug on the National Night Out — an anti-crime event that brings out neighbors and police officers to neighborhoods to forge better connection between law enforcement and neighborhood residents — in his battle with the city council over the tax levy surprising council members on Tuesday night.

Council members described the mayor’s move as “shortsighted” arguing the savings the Torres administration will build by canceling National Night Out will likely cost much more in the long run.

Torres administration did not provide information on how much the city will save by cancelling the event which was scheduled for August 2nd, 2016.

“The overall cost may end up being greater,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large. He said residents may organize events without police oversight and something may occur.

“You’re taking away somethings that benefit the community. Your’ pouring gas on the fire,” said Allen Boyer, pastor at the Bethel AME Church on Auburn Street. As many as 40 block events are scheduled throughout the city – many of them in volatile crime-prone neighborhoods – to build better relations between neighborhood residents and police as well as connect neighbors together.

“It’s the one time folks who may not know who their neighbor come outside and meet their neighbors for the first time,” said Morris.

The mayor, council members, police officers, visit each of the locations on the second Tuesday of August to foster better ties between neighbors and police to strengthen communities against crime.

Maritza Davila, councilwoman at-large, said she was unaware the event had been cancelled. She and other council members wondered why community stakeholders were not informed about the cancellation.

Torres cancelled the event on Thursday.

Marcia Julian of the city’s Multi-Cultural & Community Affairs said she intends on calling various organizers to tell them the event has been cancelled.

Each block has its unique event with donated hot dogs and sodas from police. The police union contributes more than $3,000 towards the event, said officials.

“Our young men and women get to see people that look like them in uniform and aspire to join those careers themselves. They see police officers in a different light,” said Morris. He said police officers also get to meet the parents of those children so when a youngster is on the verge of getting in trouble the officer is more likely to take the child to his parent rather than for processing in downtown.

“We should look to continue National Night Out,” said council president William McKoy. “The value and return to the city far outweighs any contribution by the mayor. We don’t want to be shortsighted in this endeavor.”

The community groups are likely to continue their block events even without the city’s support indicated council members.

Torres has also cancelled the movies in the park, the Great Falls Festival, the Silk City 5K Run, and the annual Christmas event. His plan to close recreation programs two-week early has been met with protests at City Hall.

The mayor’s response comes after the council twice rejected his preliminary tax levy. Council members argued the mayor was attempting to tax homeowners, who are overburdened, yet again.

Julian said the city has been continuously doing National Night Out for the past 15 years.

Torres did not respond to a call for comment on Wednesday morning.

Email: [email protected]

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  • Plumber

    again big baby little pants torres pulling the plug on an event that benefits all of Paterson because he cant get his way, unbelievable what a A-Hole!!!! it's time someone change your diaper like you there full of shit.

    • Tiffany Williams

      I agree

  • Ken Cole

    Last time they had this a man was shot ang killed.

  • Tiffany Williams

    Straight stupid ass mayor canceling this for the kids first the pools now this… Soya ever thing because kids not allowed to have fun ya make the people violent… To be honest I really think its a race thing cuz they never cancel no Hispanic events… Can somebody tell me wtf the mayor do for us anyways. "I'll wait"

    • Carlos

      They never cancel a Hispanic event? I thought this was a community event. I didn't know this event had anything to do with race at all…..smh

    • Brian Marshall

      well the puerto rican festival at westside park was not cancelled

      • Carlos

        that is true… but not sure if that is paid by private organization or the if the city funds it. But the way the comment is made is that no Hispanics partake in the Anti-rime rally so that's why it's being cancelled. I think the way things are in this country today this National Lights Out event should be embraced to further unite the community with law enforcement agencies

    • Bruce Ross

      You are so right, what the people of Paterson need to do is boycott and do not spend your money in Paterson ,that will shut down the business, because this Mayor don't give a damm about the people are the children, don't march around corner when you have the power they know the first of the month is coming up, and the people will buy shite down town ,the answer is to organize and boycott ,and Vote his Ass out of office

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    why does this have to cost money or involve the mayor?every resident who wants to participate can simply network in their community & organize a party on each block. ask all who attend to bring food,drinks, etc or even skip the food & just meet on every corner or selected porches to meet your neighbors.
    it's really sad people are totally unable to do anything on their own without depending on the government in one way or another.

    • clickbae

      you are completely missing the point, but you're just a screen name like me so whatever.

      • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

        the main point is that people need to stop being led & depending on the government.why aren't residents asking for police to patrol each street one day a week or month,& agree to be outside that evening to meet/interact with the officers? why wait until such an event is suggested by the government? if we were organized & self sufficient there would be no plug to pull on an event since it would be organized & payed for by the people.i am not just a screen name. my name is pattianne pascual & i live on front st by kennedy high school in paterson. our block is run by us.we clean our front lawns & street,take garbage & recycle out on the correct days, we have a shared patrol network,take care of each others animals & the outside ones, we all know who our neighbors are as we approach any that move in & invite them to our homes, bbq's,& offer to help if needed,including donating food or items of they fall short on cash.there is no noise here after 10pm because we don't allow it.& much more.if we depended on our government to do all this, our street would be crap like most of paterson.

  • David Davis

    He's cancelling everything that benefits the community instead of going for his top heavy administration where there will be REAL savings.

  • Plumber

    let's see simple solution, layoff half of the good for nothing scamming DPW workers who really have no function, do absolutely nothing, just take a look around the city, and stop the work at your house and other family members business's to cut down on the over time, thin down the over blotted government employees that you have on staff that also have no function, most who are family and friends that were promised jobs for special favor's that were done for you, I can't for the life of me figure out where all these tax monies go to, what they are use for cause you can't tell by looking around the city that the money is being used here, maybe you can take all of the kids to your villa, hotel,down in the Dominican Republic to spend the summer.
    (Wink, Wink, Did I just let the cat out of the bag, OOPS!)
    But no just use the poor defenseless children of Paterson as a tool to pass your agenda, and force the council to raise again the taxes, when you know you can cut back somewhere else, you should be ashamed of yourself little man I can't wait till the feds come in and lock you up, and remember once in jail, DON'T DROP THE SOAP!!!!!!

  • Anon

    You're *