Paterson mayor removes City Hall benches used by vagrants | Paterson Times

Paterson mayor removes City Hall benches used by vagrants


The city has removed several benches from the exterior of the historic City Hall building in downtown Paterson to clamp down on vagrants using them as stations for sleeping, shooting up drugs, and bothering visitors to the seat of municipal government.

Mayor Jane Williams-Warren ordered the benches be removed as a “safety precaution.” Some noticed the benches were gone on Monday.

“My decision was based on my concerns for the safety of the employees and the public that visit City Hall on a daily basis, where access is through the Market Street entrance,” said Williams-Warren on Tuesday afternoon.

There has been an increase in the number of people sleeping and using drugs at the benches, according to the city. Security staff at City Hall have attempted to shoo away the vagrants, but with limited success. The vagrant would simply return later.

Sometimes police and paramedics had to be called when a vagrant was stretched out on a bench and appeared overdosed or dead.

“People waiting for bus transportation were unable to use the benches,” said the mayor.

Her decision has been welcomed.

Council president Ruby Cotton said it was a good move. She said the vagrants particularly bothered seniors coming into pay taxes at City Hall. She said the city’s tax office provides chairs to seniors waiting in line to pay property taxes.

Council members had long complained the homeless population in front of City Hall presented a negative image of the Silk City.

Three beggars would approach a person walking into City Hall from the Washington Street side on any given day.

On Tuesday evening the entire front of City Hall was free of vagrants as a result of the mayor’s move.

The city has had similar success at the historic Danforth Memorial Library. Drug addicts would lean and sit on the retaining wall of the library. A new fence with spikes has worked wonders in removing them from the vicinity of the library.

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  • MarquinhoGaucho

    why dont the police round them up and end them back to the burbs where they came from

    • bluesscout

      That would be where you live…lol..the burbs of shithole paterson

      • DropKnowledge

        You probably have never step foot in Paterson. Worry about your dope head infested suburbs.

  • DropKnowledge

    Instead of removing the benches, they should focus on housing the homeless. Paterson politicians are disgusting.

    • bluesscout

      Thats a bandaid not a solution

      • DropKnowledge

        A bandaid starts the healing process

        • bluesscout

          Bandaid????need major surgery..paterson has been lost fourscore and 7yrs ago

  • bluesscout

    Paterson has been a shithole since i returned from the vietnam war.including their crummy police dept

  • Margaret Velez

    Trash cans were removed more trash in ground more then ever all benches being removed from bus stops now city hall didn't tax payers paid for this items now that they being removed more tax money wasted I wonder what do they do.with them after all it's paterson residents paying the bill