Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer took time out of his busy national schedule Wednesday to make an appearance in his hometown and place of office, to take part in a march of solidarity for Qua-Daishia Hopkins, the 10-year-old Trentonian who lost her life to senseless gang-related violence in recent weeks.
This was a step in the right direction for Trenton, and the city’s mayor, as the city continues to deal with gang violence that plagues many of the city’s neighborhoods since taking hold here during Mayor Palmer’s tenure.
These days, the capital city does not see its longtime executive for extended periods of time, as Mayor Palmer travels across the county supporting the faltering campaign of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and attending functions as the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Therefore it was a welcome sight to see one person in yesterday’s march who has the power to have a significant calming effect on the social problems that claimed the life of another young lady last night, on West State Street, not far from the statehouse.
Perhaps this signals a new era where Mayor Palmer will spend more time here in Trenton to try and make a bigger difference in the life-changing and life-threatening problems that have now taken the lives of two young Trentonians in a short period of time.
Some other suggestions include getting more police out on the street, killing plans to disband the police department’s Vice unit, and getting those officers wasting away behind desks and working late-night shifts back into positions where their prolific police skills can be put to better use.
Perhaps the permanent detail of officers assigned to Mayor Palmer’s protection unit can be redistributed, to be used instead in the protection of the city’s most vulnerable class of people: its residents.
Maybe the hiring of 50 additional officers that was so trumpeted by City Council members and Mayor Palmer himself can be expedited, and more New Jersey State Police can do their own patrols in the city’s worst neighborhoods.
Most of all, let’s get a mayor who is frequently absent from his own city to spend some more time here, and show everyone that he is truly dedicated to his constituents, and not presidential candidates or groups of mayors from the nation’s larger and more problem-free cities.
Trenton needs this.