For the past two decades we have heard ; "There is no gang problem in Plainfield', "We have smashed the gangs". There have been drug busts and more drug busts all snaring 12 to 100 individuals.
Yet, An ambush on Sunday by one "uniformed" gang against another has capped a two week spree of shootings in the West End. Fortunately none of the families who were in the Park for a cookout were injured by the gunfire barrage .
Martin Luther King Jr. once said; "Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
That is so true. However, I do not think today's gang generation is receptive to "love".
What solutions are open to us, We can not permit Plainfield to become a guerrilla war zone. WE have little time to act to prevent this. City government both Administration and Council must face the issue. Public Safety short term can roundup known members, prosecute those with weapons and/or drugs. Confiscate weapons and cut off any local supply.
However that is too elemental and ineffective for any long term solution . We will need the assistance of the County, State, and Federal Authorities. Perhaps if our political leaders and their syncopates stop bashing Governor Christie the State with Federal assistance might come up with a model project specifically aimed at making Plainfield gang free.
About a week ago I offered a program solution for the long term. Our citizens and city leaders should read it. This could be a not too long term solution. If workable without political interference, graft and political spoils the results would be evident in much less than a decade. Dry up the source of replacements and the evil will wither away.
The cost, increased taxes. The gain, a town where all the "vision studies " can be a reality.
One suggestion that by experience will not fly: Create a commission (without pay) whose membership includes Administration, Council, and a diverse pool of concerned citizens. This commission should make recommendations on long term solutions and seek Federal, and/or State as well as private foundation funding.
As to the opening quote, it is not applicable to Plainfield since no one has been sincere and eliminating prejudice in education,housing, and race relations in our fair city.