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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plainfield mayor wants to get rid of NJ's first Hispanic police chief

Plainfield Police Chief Edward Santiago

In a presentation to the City Council Monday evening on the reorganization of the Police Division, Public Safety Director Martin Hellwig made as his last major point the elimination of the job of police chief, saying the move is part of fulfilling the campaign promises of Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs.

Plainfield has had a police chief since the city's organization. Current Police Chief Edward Santiago is New Jersey's first Hispanic chief of police.

Hellwig and Santiago have tangled in court over the reorganization issue, and their court case is not over yet. Santiago also has a suit against the Mayor, over moves to suspend him, which is also wending its way through the court system.

It was not clear what action Hellwig expected the Council to take, if any. When Council questions veered into day-to-day operations, Councilor Gibson warned his fellow Councilors that was not their bailiwick.

No substantive discussion was held on the REAL issue the wish to eliminate the Chief's job brings up: Will it necessitate a charter change to effect abolishing the job?

If so, a complicated charter review process might be invoked -- involving the election of a charter study commission that could be filled with persons who could resist the dictates of the Democratic machine.

These may yet become interesting times.

-- Dan Damon

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Anonymous said...

Santiago heritage and being of
minority staus is commendable.
However, the question is, has he
exemplied quality and qualified
effective leadership. In my opinion "No". There have been
countless complaints against officer's and him for years. He
is viewed by the Latino/hispanic
negatively and as well in the Black community. Personality and
feelings of personal attack are
at play. If you can't fairly and
totally fulfill the role,
You've got to Go!! in any job.

Anonymous said...

I am a latino who is living in the Sleepy Hollow section of Plainfield for over 5 years and in that time I have seen the treatment to latinos from the white, black and the large gay communities. The treatment towards latinos from these communities has been extremely negative. Plainfield has slowly seen a large increase in its latinos population and so has the increase in bias crimes towards latinos. As for the people running the town its a joke the corruption is monumental, property taxes extremely high with nothing to show for it, the school are bad,you have to pay for garbage.sewerage, the street and sidewalk are a horror and don't try to have something done to your home they will try to make you pay for anything done to your house. The town looks raggie only now that the latino community has been buying homes and opening business is this town coming to life. Even with the bias of the other communites latinos are rebuilding the face of Plainfield. The towns around Plainfield are beautiful (Westfield,Fanwood,South Plainfield and Cranford). I also see that the blacks who are in office are only puppets having there strings pull by the whites with money in this town. I would like to see a Federal Investigation of all the government agencies in this town. I see why North Plainfield and South Plainfield want nothing to do with Plainfield. I hope someday the Sleep Hollow section of Plainfield would follow suit. As long as people of color keep from being united we will stay in the same situation, white never see themself as different so they remain united we should learn a lesson from them. If you are planing to look to buy a house or open a business in Plainfield take another look, you mite not like what you see. As for myself, my house is up for sale and hopefully I would be out of here next year.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of outcome but what Plainfield used to be and what is now is result is dumb politicians and they have no interest of prosperity of town or people they too busy playing their dirty politics Hope one day clean up by some one if not GOD