Protecting Paterson Athletes

Daniel Sheinfield and Abigail Walsh

A couple of years ago, High school football games were banned from being played in Paterson on Friday nights due to increasing violence within the city.  Most of the games were moved to Saturday afternoon to try and combat the rise in crimes during the evening.  The BF Bolt spoke to Detective Juan Garcia of the Paterson police department to try and gain some insight into how the city of Paterson had addressed this issue.


BF: In the last year, have the crime rates gone up or down?


Officer Garcia: “An integral part of the Chief’s Office is to document, discuss, and enforce our Crime Analysis Reports.  All Divisions heads come together for this purpose.  The City of Paterson has a population of 170,000 residents which is very diverse and has its own unique law enforcement concerns.  Our serious crimes: Homicides, Aggravated Assaults, and Robberies have been down over the last 10 years, but our property crimes, larcenies, and Quality of Life issues are always a concern with our City.”


BF: “How does the crime in Paterson affect high school sports events?”


Officer Garcia: “During school events (Football and Basketball) throughout our City, on-duty and off-duty Police Officers are assigned for perimeter security and crowd control.  The community is concerned with the probability of fights and or loud and boisterous behaviors that do occur during these events.  The Board of Education does assist the Police Department with their own security measures where a smooth and safe environment can be provided for all participants at these school events.”


The Paterson police department has taken steps to make these games safer and more enjoyable for students and fans. As a result of the stricter rules and bigger police presence, Paterson now has resumed playing night games.