Hamilton Mayor Taking Hands On Approach With Proactive Public Safety Efforts
In the above photograph, Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly A. Yaede discusses public safety issues with Chief Collins and his Bureau Command Staff at a recent COMSTAT Meeting
When entering office in late November, there was nothing extraordinary about Hamilton Mayor Kelly A. Yaede’s decision to serve as Public Safety Director – just as prior Mayors have. But to Yaede, the responsibilities of Public Safety Director meant much more than just another title to coincide with being Mayor.
“When I say that public safety is a priority to me, I do not just ‘say it’ – I mean it,” says Yaede. “As Public Safety Director, I will continue to be actively involved in ensuring the safety of our residents.”
And since becoming Hamilton’s Public Safety Director, Yaede has taken a very noticeably hands on approach when it comes to public safety.
Already announcing in her State of the Township Address that she will swear in nine new Hamilton Township Police Officers in the coming days, Yaede’s desire to improve public safety extends beyond additional officers and includes several proactive efforts that might otherwise go unnoticed to the general public.
One such effort has been the Mayor’s active involvement in “COMSTAT” (an acronym for COMputer STATistics) meetings with the Police Division. “COMSTAT” – a police accountability system that first gained notoriety with New York City’s Police Department under Police Commissioner William Bratton in the 1990’s – is a system used in major cities across the nation.
With the “COMSTAT” system, Hamilton’s Police Division compiles crime data and maps out statistics for the Mayor, Chief Collins, and his Bureau Command Staff to review monthly. After looking at the data, the group discusses possible reasons for the trends and whether strategic or tactical changes may be warranted to better protect Hamilton residents.
And while Hamilton’s Police Division remains careful to follow State Police Guidelines in how any and all incident information is released – so that active investigations are not jeopardized -- the mission is clear: to ensure Hamilton Township remains proactive when it comes to public safety.
“At our COMSTAT meetings, I ask our Chief and his Command Staff direct questions. What is working? What are we doing to address a trend? How can we improve our public safety efforts?,” explains the Mayor. “My goal is for Hamilton Township to be proactive when it comes to public safety and crime prevention efforts; and I am confident that the continuous monitoring, review and reevaluation of our efforts is what will help keep our residents safe.”
In another proactive and “hands on” initiative, Yaede will join a Police Officer on a patrol shift in the coming weeks to gain a first-hand look at what Hamilton’s Officers encounter on a daily basis.
“One thing that I have learned in both the private-sector and through public service is that being involved – being out in the community, rather than behind a desk – is the best way to see what is happening and gain insights that you will never obtain from a written report,” explains Mayor Yaede.
Another proactive measure that Yaede is taking is to increase awareness of Police programs that rely on citizen involvement and cooperation, like Hamilton’s semi-annual Neighborhood Crime Watch meetings which will start again in March.
Although residents might not be compelled to attend Crime Watch meetings when crime is down, the best time to provide residents with crime prevention and safety tips is before an incident occurs.
“I am urging residents to attend their local Neighborhood Crime Watch meeting this spring and play an important role to help keep our community safe,” says Yaede. “Our Police Division relies heavily on the cooperation of our community’s law-abiding citizens; and it is only with the ‘eyes and ears’ of our residents, that our Police’s proactive efforts can be most effective.”
A full listing of the Spring Neighborhood Watch Meeting Schedule is available on the Township’s website: www.HamiltonNJ.com or by Clicking Here