Democrats Take Action on Public Safety as a Priority

MADISON – In a prepared joint statement, Mayor Bob Conley, Councilmembers Bob Landrigan and John Forte, and Planning Board member and Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Advisory Committee chair, Melissa Chair Honohan, stress the priority of and reflect on the actions taken by the Council to ensure the high quality of everyday life in Madison.

Bob Conley is seeking an unprecedented fourth term as Mayor of Madison. Bob Landrigan and John Forte are running for full three-year terms on the Madison Borough Council.  Melissa Honohan is running for a one-year term, which will complete the final year of former Councilmember Debra Coen’s term (through 2024).

“The Madison community has always put a high value on quality of life and a big part of that is public safety,” stated Mayor Bob Conley

“Recently car theft has become a real problem throughout the state due to opportunistic criminals.  Although vehicle thefts in Madison were down from 17 in 2020 to 10 in 2022 (and burglary to motor vehicles was down from 50 to 26 over those same two years), 10 thefts are still too many.  We were therefore pleased to host our Congressional Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-11), state Senators Richard Codey (D-Essex), and Anthony M. Bucco (R-Morris), and law enforcement officials on the steps of the Hartley Dodge Memorial last October to raise awareness of bipartisan efforts to crack down on motor vehicle thefts with new equipment, increased staffing, and investments in data and research aimed towards prevention of thefts,” continued Mayor Conley. 

Conley further shared: “We were also thrilled to welcome New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin, a Madison High School graduate, who shared information on the new Auto Theft Task Force operating at the local, state and federal levels to identify and hold accountable auto theft ring leaders.  These initiatives received the praise of Morris County Sheriff James Gannon and Washington Township Police Chief Jeffrey Almer, the current Morris County Chiefs of Police President.”

“A product of that meeting are the four bills signed by Governor Murphy in July that strengthen the criminal penalties associated with auto theft in the state.  Another is the ‘Auto Theft Prevention Act,’ jointly introduced by Representative Sherrill, and Republican Don Bacon, of Nebraska back in February,” added Councilmember Forte.

“The actions of the Council and our strong relationships at the local, county, state, and federal level, have led to significant investments in areas related to public safety.  Our efforts reflect a proactive and community-minded approach to ensuring Madison has the resources it needs to keep our town safe and reflects the confidence of the Mayor and Council with department leadership,” continued Councilmember Landrigan.

The candidates also highlighted just some of the recent actions taken by the Council related to public safety:

“A critical element to public safety is the budget we allocate to the Police and Fire departments who are on the front lines every day. Madison’s Police and Fire departments, along with Public Works, are the top three budget areas for the borough.  Together, they represent over 40% of the operating budget.  In addition, a portion of the general capital budget goes to public safety equipment and vehicle replacements every year. 

Earlier this year, the borough activated its new $2 million trunk radio system that will permit the borough’s first responder agencies, schools, town departments and utilities to better communicate with each other during emergencies.  Previously the police and fire departments and the ambulance corps all operated on different radio bands using aging equipment.  Much of the cost of this purchase was funded by the federal government.

The Madison Fire Department’s new Engine 3 rescue pumper joined the department’s fleet on June 10.  The new engine replaces both a 1995 rescue truck and a 1990 fire engine. “

“On August 14 the Council ratified a new and unprecedented six-year contract with the PBA Local 92 following a recent unanimous vote.  We view this as a visible demonstration of the high regard that the borough places on its police department.” stated Council candidate Honohan. “The vote is a recognition of the invaluable contribution that our police officers make to the community’s wellbeing.”

“I’m especially excited at the recent ordinance that was introduced that would amend the Borough of Madison’s police department procedures to provide an additional avenue for recruiting high-quality officers. The changes will allow for flexible hiring of police officers, including hiring candidates first and then sending them to the police academy,” stated Councilmember Forte at the September 11 Council meeting.  “When my own grandfather was hired as a Madison police officer, the town actually hired him and then sent him to the police academy, so this is not unprecedented.”

“And most recently, the Borough Council voted to decrease the speed limit on Kings Road from 30 to 25 miles per hour at its September 27 meeting,” added Councilmember Landrigan. “This is a busy throughfare with one of the town’s three public primary schools.”

“As candidates, we are committed to continuing to prioritize public safety and quality of life in Madison with proactive and community-focused efforts,” stated candidates Conley, Landrigan, Forte, and Honohan.  “We offer our praise and support to our fine Police and Fire Departments who work hard every day to support public safety across the Madison Community.”

Caption:

Councilmember John Forte, Planning Board member Melissa Honohan, Mayor Bob Conley, and Councilmember Bob Landrigan affirm the priority placed on public safety and quality of life in Madison.