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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Still no plan for the TPD

Trenton is now a little more than two weeks away from the date when Police Director Joseph Santiago will have to vacate his office, because of a court decision regarding the director's violation of the city's residency ordinance.

With such a small amount of time remaining until Mr. Santiago's removal - and Trenton's record-high levels of violent crime - one would think that the city would have laid out a detailed plan of succession by now.

But the city's administration has not, choosing instead to leave City Council and city residents in the dark about Mr. Santiago's successor.

In the absence of an official announcement, the usual rumors are flying around. They have Mr. Santiago staying on as police director, in some sort of acting capacity or through an announcement that the director has decided to move into the city.

Either situation coming after months of expensive legal battles funded by city taxpayers.

And either of these instances would be another case of Mr. Santiago and his boss, Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, again ignoring city law and acting as if it does not apply to them or their favored associates.

But luckily for city residents, neither of these possibilities have any significant likelihood of occurring. Even in an acting capacity, Mr. Santiago would have to maintain a bona fide domicile in Trenton.

Him simply moving into some house or apartment within the city would not be enough, because the law requires his wife and children to make the move as well.

And in either of those cases, an increasingly disillusioned and angry City Council would have confirm Mr. Santiago's reappointment, and many members of that body have made if quite clear that the Santiago era of policing is over for Trenton.

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