Sunday, February 24, 2008

Have you noticed?

City Council voted in December that Police Director Santiago should comply with the Trenton’s residency ordinance.

There was some chest beating by the Administration: Mr. Palmer declared he had the power to grant a residency waiver. If Council didn’t agree, let them do what they have to do.

Then we heard the somewhat conciliatory, “Maybe it’s time to change the ordinance to allow waivers.”

Hmmm. Could it be, on further review, Mr. Palmer’s stance wasn’t as firmly rooted as he thought?

Then, just after the holidays were over, nine city residents filed a legal complaint against the city for allowing Mr. Santiago to continue on in his position of Police Director without complying with the residency requirement.

Then, towards the end of January, it was announced that the Police Department would be bringing its ComStat meeting out on the road to the residents. Appearances at the various Citizen Police Advisory Council (CPAC) meetings were scheduled. Billed as a chance for the public to see a scaled down version of the weekly command meetings, the events suddenly also included a “presentation by Police Director Santiago on the organizational structure and operation of the Trenton Police Department.”

Hmmm. Could this be a response to complaints that Mr. Santiago was remote, detached from and unavailable to the public that pays his salary?

Shortly into February the long dormant crime map on the City of Trenton website was suddenly updated (after three months) and a new one was posted this past week as well.

The local Chamber of Commerce is hosting the police director at an upcoming breakfast meeting, to explain his Crime fighting strategies for Trenton to the business community.

Hmmm. Could all of this, along with the ComStat road show, be an attempt to rehabilitate Mr. Santiago’s tarnished image?

And, he's apparently scheduled to appear before the Plainfield City Council to tell them the advantages of having a Police Director vs. a Police Chief. Strange, since they've already apparently put the changeover into motion, so why would he be making the case for a Civilian Police Director?

Hmm. Is Santiago auditioning for the Plainfield job?

Even the Palmer machine can’t be that transparent.

Or can they?


Nicholas Stewart said...

Isn't too late for this sort of show? Obviously, some people will buy into this. I am disappointed in the City Chamber of Commerce for allowing this sort of manipulation. Shame on their board for becoming a puppet of this administration. No wonder the business community is struggling in our downtown.

Old Mill Hill said...

It may be too late for this "make over" of the Director, but the Administration will never give up trying.

As for the Trenton Chapter of the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, we can't fault them too much. The committee is only trying to program speakers that will draw people to their meetings. And, if you've never sat through the dog and pony show before, it might actually come off as wonderful.

But for anyone who's been paying attention the past five years, it's the same old schtick. It's tiresome and it's useless.