Fulop Appoints Community Leaders to New Public Safety Advisory Board

Mayor Steve Fulop

A Public Safety Advisory Board has been created by executive order to review public safety reports, crime reports and incidents involving department personnel, city officials announced Wednesday.

The board will also be able to make recommendations including programmatic police and training guidelines for departmental operations, legislative programs and actions to improve public safety.

The seven-member volunteer board will be appointed by the mayor and will include the police chief and public safety director, with the director serving as the chairperson of the board. All members will be Jersey City residents and will serve for a term of four years.

Current appointees include Public Safety Director James Shea; Acting Police Chief Joseph Connors; Ward A Councilman and former JC police chief Frank Gajewski; Rev. Reginald McRae of Mt. Pisgah Church; Aaron Morrill, the founder of Civic JC; Bill Braker, the president of the JC chapter of the NAACP; and local Heights resident Angela Rivera. Connors will serve on the board as long as he is Acting Police Chief.

“We tried to pick people who want leaderships in the community…people who want to serve in some capacity and who are familiar with the police department and are part of the activist community,” said Mayor Steven Fulop, who pushed for the establishment of the board.

He notes that while he wanted diversity on the board, not every ward will be represented as the positions are not determined by geographic area. The current board includes two community leaders especially active or residing in Ward A and at least one person especially active or residing in wards D, E and F.

Fulop says the board will act as a system of checks and balances against the Police Department by reviewing public complaints and advising disciplinary policies. They will not, however, focus on interacting with active neighborhood associations and watches, a role Fulop says will be fulfilled by Police Department personnel.

JCI File Photo by Mickey Mathis

Summer Dawn Hortillosa

is a freelance arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal, the International and other publications. She is also a creative writer and theatrical director.