Jackson Council Candidates Address Crime and Drugs in the Township
The candidates for township council in Jackson were asked the following question regarding the drug and crime issues facing the township. What is your opinion on burglaries and drug based crime in Jackson Township? Each candidate was asked to answer individually. Bonnie Barrington and Ray Cattonar filed their answer jointly.
Barry Calogero: Unfortunately Jackson Township, like most townships across the state have experienced an increase in drug based crime. First and foremost as parents we must educate our children on the effects of drug abuse and must ensure as a township we provide alternate outlets in the form of sports programs and community outlets. However understanding that this type of crime is not tolerable, the solution is to continue to support a strong and resourceful police department and ensure they have the resources and tools available to combat this epidemic.
Ken Bressi: This is a problem throughout several communities, not just Jackson. As for our police department, I feel they are staying right on top of this. Let me add, after our home was broken into and robbed this year the response from our police department was superb. Not only the night of this violation but the swift follow up and making an arrest, my wife, family and I say thank you to them.
Rob Nixon: Jackson Township is not immune to the scourge of crime that has been fueled by a bad economy and a criminal element that need to steal to support their drug habit. Drug based crimes are not just relegated to the inner cities. History shows that in a bad economy burglaries and thefts rise in every type of community. We know from New Jersey State Police analysis that Jackson has gangs. We know from the recent spate of burglaries, often in broad daylight, that drug users are targeting our homes for money and items to sell to buy more drugs. We simply must work together and with the Jackson Police Department to take proactive steps to combat these crimes.
In addition to taking actions to keep from becoming a victim, there are simple things we can do together as a community to fight back. The Mayor and Council can work to obtain grants to develop programs to battle drug dealers and gang members. We can report suspicious activities in our neighborhoods and call 911 when things seem out of place. We can watch out for our neighbor’s homes when we know they aren’t home. And we should support our police officers who work 24/7 to protect our community and who have done great work in capturing many of the criminals involved in these activities. Drug based crimes must be dealt with quickly and aggressively to prevent a burglary attempt from turning into to something much worse.
Ray Cattonar-Bonnie Barrigton: Once again, being able to see our crime rate statistics would certainly give us a better assessment of the crime within our Township. Without this data it is certainly difficult, if not impossible, to provide an honest opinion. However, we are aware that crime is a concern to all residents in any Township and we take this issue very seriously. The police have organized a crime watch in Town to help. In an economy with high unemployment, crime does usually increase. The drug problem is a big issue in our Township and we do see a need to focus more of our efforts in the halting of drug dealing in town.