Mayor Jackson Comments On Mission Street Shootings In Montclair

jackson and dashield
City Manager Marc Dashield and Mayor Robert Jackson

Mayor Robert Jackson and City Manager Marc Dashield spoke with Baristanet this morning in the wake of last night’s shootings on Mission Street.

The Council of the Township of Montclair will convene an emergency session this evening, August 6, at 6:30 p.m, in the Municipal Building at 205 Claremont Avenue. 

What do you want to say to the people of Montclair regarding the shootings?

Mayor Jackson:

After this string of events, it’s almost impossible to feel comfortable, but there will be a notable change in the paradigm, in terms of how we approach this street. The street crimes unit is effective in many ways, but we obviously need to step up our game.

Are any of the three shootings this summer in Montclair related?

Mayor Jackson: 

The second and third shootings are related, not the first as far as we know. At least one of the victims in last night’s shooting was also involved in the shooting several weeks ago nearby on Elmwood.

Do any of the shooting appear to involve gangs?

Town Manager Dashield:

The police are still investigating, we’re not going to speculate. The bottom line is that people want to feel safe. We’ll discuss the alternatives tonight and layout a plan.

Some residents are suggesting the police set-up a substation near Mission Street, perhaps revive the substation that used to exist on Lackawanna Plaza. Any plans to do so?

mission street news vans
Six TV crews were set-up on Mission Street this morning.

Mayor Jackson:

A police substation on Lackawanna Plaza won’t help this. It requires a different approach. The police are working on it as we speak. Changes are going to happen on this street, but we can’t discuss it all with you.

Can you tell us more about the street crimes unit?

Mayor Jackson:

The street crimes unit is out here. They walk up and down the street all the time. You might not even know they’re police.

We’ve walked this neighborhood with them. They seem to know everyone. They’ve picked-up a lot of information that’s led to several arrests.

But it’s like terrorism. You can prevent a lot of things, but one time something gets through and you have to deal with it. The street crimes unit has thwarted a lot of crime, not just thefts, but violent crime.

Final thoughts?

Mayor Jackson:

This is certainly not comfortable or typical for Montclair. As a lifelong resident, I’ve seen a lot, but this is beyond the pale. We’re so far beyond platitudes and clichéd outrage. Now is the time to shut-up and get it done.


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  1. Although I understand that outraged and frightened people will say regrettable things about razing Mission Street, etc., Mayor Jackson’s determined and practical comments are reassuring to me. Of course, it will be even more reassuring when we hear the exact plan that the MPD proposes.

  2. When I searched the internet to find more info on this story, I was shocked to see a number of shootings in this same area going back several years. Clearly this is not a new problem. Why is a police substation not going to work? I don’t understand that comment by Mayor Jackson. Wouldn’t obvious police presence be a deterrent? We are less interested in catching shooters after the fact , though of course that is also a very high priority providing they actually are taken off the street. But prevention seems where the money ought to go. Perhaps real estate interests would find that a deterrent to their sales. That’s the only reason that makes sense to me why the mayor does not want a police outpost and dismissed the idea so quickly. I will be keeping track of how he handles this now that he has promised to take action.

  3. This is the same mayor and council who laid off the code enforcement inspector.

    The inspector keeps landlords on their toes, halls clean, yards maintained and free of trash, hedges trimmed and less able to shield muggers / shooters, etc. Although the responsibilities were “parceled out” it doesn’t seem anybody is actually inspecting or issuing citations / fines.

    And, how about organizing a “neighborhood watch”? Putting aside the nonsense, I’d expect Dr Baskerville and civic leaders would have an incentive to get neighbors out on their porches, keeping an eye on the street and folks who don’t seem to have a good reason to be around. Folks from out of town, looking to buy drugs, for example. Bust ’em, and lock ’em up. If you need narcs, the county has dozens of them to run the stings.

    I hear the mayor’s comments about the “street crimes unit” being out and about, but where’s the beef? People are being shot in broad daylight (6.30pm). Maybe it’s time to ask the State Police to send in reinforcements. They’re already in Camden, Trenton, Irvington, etc.

    The time for hugs is over. It’s time to get the bad guys and the guns off the streets. If it takes stop, question, and frisk after dark, then do it. If it takes $500 rewards for people to give locations of “community hand guns” then do that as well. Same for drug stashes.

    Maybe invite the fugitive / warrants squad in to see if anybody hanging around is somebody on their list, too.

  4. “They walk up and down the street all the time. You might not even know they’re police.”

    When I’m walking home from the train late at night, I would rather see a police officer in uniform than someone who is trying to fit in on Mission & New St

  5. Rob Jackson not to blame. Let’s just hope the MPD response is enough to prevent additional bloodshed.

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