That’s the question Steve Fulop has to face as he stares into the face of a Thanksgiving turkey, as many of his Jersey City residents are hoping they don’t end up on a coroner’s gurney from the gunfire that has erupted during his mayoralty.
Mayor Fulop has a good image crew. He is the boy wonder who is in the top three of contenders for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2017. But behind the image there are mistakes, and not just the typos in his Facebook posts.
Fulop can talk about adding more cops, but when his police chief talks about how the community has a strained relationship with the police, there’s a basic failure in the system.
People don’t really care about the size of the police force. They care about being safe. There are entire sections of Jersey City which are war zones, virtually no-go areas.
Fulop knows and acknowledged that some murder victims were themselves violent criminals. These people have been in trouble before. But they’re out on the streets and keeping thousands of his residents prisoners in their own homes.
More cops might be the answer. But not if they’re behind desks, or staring at computer screens. Cameras aren’t the replacement for cops on the beat. Getting video evidence doesn’t help the mother burying her child. That’s the crux of the problem.
And if Steve Fulop doesn’t get it now, how does he expect to keep an entire state safe? What’s in store for the residents of Newark, Paterson, East Orange, Plainfield, Trenton or Camden?
Until he figures that out, Steve Fulop might as well eat his turkey – at the kiddie table.