Union City officials hosted three public safety meetings in different neighborhoods last week. Crime, sidewalks, and parking were among the main topics.
“Just by getting involved in your neighborhood and participating, giving information to the police, you empower the police, you help the police do their job more effectively,” Stack told the residents, urging them to contact the police if they see suspicious activity.
Union City police were recently able to make several drug-related arrests, partly due to information from locals who witnessed something happening in their neighborhood, said Stack.
“Without your input, it is impossible,” said Union City Chief of Police Charles Everett. Everett also said that Union City police have been focusing on drugs and gangs.
Stack also said that the town has twice as many crossing guards today as it did eight years ago, and that he and Everett recently met with the guards to discuss being more aware of suspicious activity or people near schools.
“Not only does a crossing guard cross your child, but they are another set of eyes in the community that are out there every day,” said Stack.
The scoop on poop Residents at the meeting voiced concerns about excess dog waste on the sidewalks. Stack said that the town has worked with county officials to address the issue. A new portion of Washington Park just for dogs will be part of the solution.
“We will have our first dog run on Second Street and Palisade Avenue at Washington Park,” Stack said. “It is a very sizeable dog run that we will have there.”
Stack also said that the Health Department has been issuing summonses to residents who do not pick up after their dogs.
“We are serious about this,” said Stack. “It is not healthy for our community.”
He also said that the town is aware that there could be up to 600 dogs in Union City that are not registered with the Health Department. According to Stack, there are approximately 1,000 dogs currently registered.
“We know it is a major problem,” said Stack. “We are addressing it.”
By law, all dogs in the city must be licensed if they are six months old or older. Proof of a rabies shot is required. For more information, call (201) 348-5731.
Stack talked about a new park in town overlooking New York City that will be dedicated to Union City firemen who have died in the line of duty.
“We are working on a brand new park on Ninth and Palisade Avenue,” said Stack. “It is going to be a beautiful park.”
He added that the park will have a large outdoor pool, baby pool, and sitting areas.
Sidewalks, speed bumps, and parking Sidewalks were also a key talking point.
“We have been very strong in putting in a lot of new sidewalks for residents,” said Stack. “When we pave a street, we give everyone a brand new sidewalk on that block.”
He said that the sidewalks on Central Avenue have recently been repaved, and that the city plans to begin fixing the sidewalks on Summit Avenue next year.
He added that fixing sidewalks saves the town money in the long run because it cuts back on lawsuits from people who fall.
Stack said that in recent years the town has increased the number of traffic lights, especially in downtown Union City, and upgraded the bulbs from 200 watts to 400 watts. He also said that lights have been added to many poles along the streets in town that previously had none.
“We have done that to increase the visibility on the streets at night, so you can walk safely through the neighborhood,” said Stack. He also said that the additional and improved lights enable police to see more while patrolling.
Residents also asked for more parking.
“One of the things that we did just to try to help out is next to Edison School on Second Street; we put that little parking lot that holds about 24 cars,” said Stack. “We are doing that in other areas, too.”
Stack also addressed the requests he recently received from residents who would like more speed bumps in town.
Stack said that the town will strategically put speed bumps where they are necessary; however, too many speed bumps could pose new problems.
“Speed bumps are a major problem for emergency personnel,” said Stack. He said that speed bumps slow down emergency vehicles that are in a rush to help residents in trouble.
Stack also said that speed bumps make it difficult to plow the streets when it snows.
Stack also said that the town tries to clean graffiti within 48 hours of it appearing.