Friday, June 29, 2012

Letter: Mayor’s response to violence failed Plainfield (Rodriguez-Martinez)

Courier News, Letter to Editor, Friday, 6/29/2012 (not put online)

Mayor’s response to violence failed Plainfield

An open letter to Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs: This letter is in reference to the recent escalating crime and unsolved murder cases in Plainfield.

As a resident and property owner in the city, I am very concerned for the safety of my family. In a recent Plainfield property owners meeting, we discussed these recurring matters. We are all very much concerned, and we have concluded that these matters have gotten totally out of hand.

We have been seeking explanations from your office, and it seems to be that both you and your office have chosen to look the other way and not address this issue.

Our community, including the Hispanic population of Plainfield, is outraged and completely shocked by your actions and those of the police department.

The excuse made by your office, as well as the Plainfield police, in which a statement was made in reference to both departments not being able to relate or work with the Hispanic community because of a language barrier, is unacceptable.

There are many Hispanic communities both large and small throughout the Garden State that have an excellent rapport with their police departments. If your police department cannot communicate with the taxpaying Hispanic community, you should address this problem as soon as possible. It is apparent that the Plainfield police force is the only station with this problem.

I also would like to advise you that it has been brought to our attention that due to recent unsolved murders, increasing crime rate and Hispanic hate crimes, many students have decided not to attend Union County College at the Plainfield campus.

As a result, they are seeking other academic institutions in which to enroll for the fall semester.

Furthermore, because of the extremely serious police safety issues and unanswered questions, as well as poor investigations from your office, we have collected
funds to get legal representation in order to seek a formal investigation from the proper state agency to investigate this matter.

This request is warranted for the safety of our children and senior citizens who live in Plainfield.

If Plainfield would implement cameras in the “hot crime zones,” we would possibly get the answers we are looking for, and that is justice.

You have held meetings acting as a mediator with gang members at a local restaurant without concern of the seriousness of jeopardizing parents, children and senior citizens within this specific location.

Nonetheless, you did not take initiative to reach out to religious
leaders in our areas, and use their church halls for this meeting with community observers in attendance. One of the ways to break the Hispanic language barrier is to communicate with Hispanic community leaders for assistance.

Overall, your office has done very little for our city, and we want answers, as well as someone who has the intelligence and decorum to sit in the mayor’s office and perform those duties for which the person was elected. I hope this letter has expressed the seriousness of the concerns that we have in Plainfield. I am speaking on behalf of my neighbors and upset residents throughout the community.
Chase Rodriguez-Martinez


About Me

Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.