These are the facts: Police Director Santiago took four Trenton police officers and their equipment with him to Newark to take part in the funeral procession of Santiago’s father-in-law. After the fact, he told the Trenton City Council that the officers volunteered to take administrative days to minimize the financial impact on the city. He also told the council that this detachment was offered to him by a police captain, seemingly Paul Messina, according to anonymous police sources.
Now, somehow it needs to be determined whether these officers were actually ordered by the anonymous Police captain or the orders came from the top. It also needs to be determined whether or not these officers voluntarily took A-days or if they were ordered to after the fact, and whether some time in the future they will given an unofficial “day off” to make up for the days they lost because of Santiago’s funeral.
This will be difficult. According to anonymous police sources, most of the force is frightened to speak out against the leadership because of possible retribution, including demotion and relegation to less than desirable shifts in the middle of the night. Somehow it has to be done.
The Police Director represents the beginning of the process. The rest of the administration is the end of the process that may be beginning now.
Trenton has undoubtedly suffered under the leadership of Douglas H. Palmer. Take any resident and they will tell you the city was better in 1990 than in 2007.
Police Director Santiago represents just one facet of this misguided leadership.
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