News of another 3rd Ward Town Meeting was posted Tuesday afternoon on a couple of Facebook Forums. Many residents expressed surprise at the short notice as well as the fact that the meeting's location was to be in Essex Manor on Broughton St.
Unlike earlier meetings that were chaired by 3rd Ward Councilman Carlos Bernard, this one was moderated by Councilman Michael Venezia who introduced a panel from the Police Department led by Chief Goul.
The original purpose of the meeting was to discuss crime and security issues in the Berkeley Avenue and Halcyon Park neighborhoods but, as with the February meeting, most of the items discussed were of interest to most residents.
1. Residents need to be aware that the department has only 8 to 12 police vehicles available to cover the entire town during any given shift, but shifts are arranged so there is an overlap during the most active 9PM - 12AM period.
2, Although speed bumps are not viable on high traffic roads such as Berkeley and Broughton, the township is beginning to paint "parking lines" along these streets. This has been proven to have the effect of discouraging speeding and drag racing.
3. The BPD is actively encouraging most retail businesses and large apartment buildings to install their own security cameras. The town expects to soon deploy a central system for live monitoring of suspicious activity at these locations.
4, Despite the increase of carjackings and other violent crimes, there is no evidence of an increase in gang activity.
5. Neighborhood watch groups remain effective as an early warning sustem for suspicious activity. This a good time to organize one before the National Night Out in August. Do not hesitate to call the PD at 973 680-4141.