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Voice of the People, May 2, 2021

Voice of the People, May 2, 2021

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Hold criminals responsible

So a guy who killed his mother is released in New York City and violently assaults an Asian American woman apparently for no other reason than her race, telling her, “You don’t belong here.” The police commissioner says, “We need real opportunities. We need real safety nets,” to me implying that it’s not the perpetrator’s fault, it’s society’s fault for not supplying him with the proper support system.

Say what? How about not killing his mother in the first place? How about not releasing him from prison in the second place? How about placing the responsibility where it belongs, on the perpetrator, instead of on the system?

Is anybody ever responsible for their actions anymore? No wonder cities are like war zones. As long as we have people who should know better making excuses for violent behavior and shifting the blame from the real culprits to everybody else, expect more of the same. I think maybe the perpetrator is the one who doesn’t belong here.

Frank Geiger

Del Haven

Blame state for A.C. crime

As a former mayor of Atlantic City and a candidate for state Assembly in the 2nd District, I recently gathered on the Boardwalk with dozens of the city’s South Asian merchants to mourn the loss of Mehmood Ansari. Mehmood, the owner of City Souvenirs, died after two teens allegedly robbed his store at knifepoint.

It was heartbreaking to hear these small business owners beg for protection after concerns for their safety had been ignored for months by state officials.

Following the attack, city officials announced police would add 15 more Class II officers. An encouraging development but far from sufficient to address the root cause.

South Asian residents shouldn’t have to lose a pillar of their community just to be heard.

As mayor, I prioritized public safety. And what happened during those years? Violent crime fell 20% and tourists returned to an Atlantic City that was safe, clean and open for business.

Crime happens as a result of two factors: motivation and opportunity. When police are respected and seen on the streets, the opportunity for crime vanishes.

Yet, the state officials forced upon us by Trenton haven’t managed to learn this lesson. Their poor judgment has left the door wide open and invited crime into Atlantic City.

They cut the police department by 60 officers. They slashed the number of Class II officers by over 50%. They’ll likely drain what little morale is left by passing over a well-qualified local officer in Jimmy Sarkos to appoint a chief from North Jersey.

With only the city’s residents to suffer, our state controllers seem to be attempting to turn Atlantic City into Camden on the beach.

It’s hard to imagine how two middle schoolers could commit such heinous acts. But when the governor shut down schools, places of worship and faith-based organizations, some kids had nowhere to turn to learn character, morality and good citizenship.

Ansari, an immigrant to this country, was deprived of the security the nation once promised him. We cannot afford to let the neglect of state officials deprive another hardworking family of their rights once again.

Don Guardian

Atlantic City

Charge parents in crimes

Concerning the disgraceful store invasion and subsequent death of Mehmood Ansari at his Atlantic City Boardwalk souvenir shop, where in God’s name were the parents? Were they always working or were they passed out on the sofa recovering from a night of partying?

They had to know something, especially when their kids are out all hours of the day and night.

If you raise your children to be irresponsible, disrespectful and disgusting, that’s exactly what you will get. The parents should be charged with at least neglect.

As for the Atlantic City police, one or two patrol cars patrolling the entire Boardwalk doesn’t cut it. Have the sub-station manned 24/7. Add a couple walk patrols as well. The beach and Boardwalk are the city’s bread and butter. And as long as we have incidents like this, the perception of Atlantic City will always be Camden by the Sea.

Bob Dougherty

Galloway Township

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