Plainfield is under siege.
In the past few days I have received emails concerning dramatic police actions involving pullovers of motorists with multiple police cars -- marked and unmarked -- racing to the scene with sirens and lights flashing.
Streets mentioned are Leland Avenue, Richmond Street and Netherwood Avenue.
Yesterday afternoon, I witnessed two such incidents on Front Street, one on the edge of the downtown shopping district.
Last week's shooting/cop chase/accident (see Courier story here and pictures here) is another case in point. On my way to that incident, I passed an empty compact car, its driver's side rammed in, blocking the eastbound lane of West 3rd Street between Spooner and Grant Avenues. A solitary police car was sitting sentinel. When I retraced my steps from the Grant/South Second accident scene, hoping to get a picture of this vehicle, it had been towed away. No mention by the police of this vehicle ever appeared in the print stories. Was it the car originally shot at? Was it an innocent driver caught in the melée?
Lastly, reports of gunshots continue unabated.
There was an email in my inbox at 5 AM today reporting gunshots in the area of Park Avenue and Woodbine.
Earlier this month, residents learned from police that several gun casings had been found in the street near Hillside and Prospect Avenues.
Is Plainfield under siege by drug dealers and gangs duking it out over territories?
It's impossible to tell.
But there is one way that Plainfield IS UNDER SIEGE: By not keeping the public informed about what is going on, Mayor Robinson-Briggs and her administration are leaving Plainfielders under siege by doubt and fear.
Why not do something about it?
Why not put her crack communications team to work posting regular updates, say weekly, concerning police activity and crime fighting on the city's website?
What would be the harm in that?
Unless, of course, Mayor Robinson-Briggs doesn't want to talk about crime.
What do you think? Vote in the poll at the top of the right-hand column: 'Does Mayor Robinson-Briggs have a duty to update the public weekly on crime fighting?'