Monday, March 16, 2009

Hellwig Appointed As Police Director

Public Affairs & Safety Director Martin R. Hellwig is now the city's permanent civilian police director for the city, following a City Council vote Monday. He will serve through the balance of Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs' term, ending Dec. 31.

It is the third time Hellwig has been named to the same role.

In March 2008, the mayor appointed Hellwig to the post in acting capacity the day after the City Council agreed to abolish the title of police chief in favor of a police director. Legislation establishing the title allowed for the Public Safety director to hold the additional post for up to one year in acting capacity. In an addendum to an April 14, 2008 council meeting, the mayor informed the council again of Hellwig's acting appointment, this time effective April 11, the day the abolishment of the chief's title took effect.

Hellwig draws only a $90,000 salary as Public Safety director. No salary has been established for the police director position.

Councilman Adrian Mapp asked why Monday's resolution was not presented to the City Council at the March 9 agenda-fixing session. City administrator Marc Dashield said it would have been presented at a March 30 agenda session under the council calendar adopted Jan. 1, but due to revision of the calendar, that date was dropped. The former April 6 voting meeting is now the next agenda-fixing session and the resolution would have been late if it had not been added to Monday's meeting.

Mapp also questioned the lack of a salary ordinance, but Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson said it had not been necessary "because we have the luxury of having a gentleman to serve in both positions."

Click here for a blog post on some of Hellwig's initiatives as police director. While many residents were upset over deletion of the police chief title, Hellwig has gained a reputation as being responsive to residents' public safety concerns, especially quality of life issues such as speeding in residential neighborhoods and safety on Mischief Night and Halloween.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong!! Martin Helwig has not been responsive to citizens cries for enforcement of quality of life laws. For example, there is a linear relationship with housing deterioration and crime. These brutes live somewhere in Plainfield, and it is not in my neighborhood. Secondly, speeding and Mischiev Night are lame examples. If he was doing such a great job, he would be living in Plainfield; you recall, like the check-in-the-mail, he was moving to Plainfield. Many of Plainfield's men-in-blue don't live here because qaulity of life issues, so why should their boss?

11:26 AM  
Anonymous A. Washington said...

I live in the third ward and last year we had a streak of break-ins. Hellwig was there and he had unmarked Police cars out our street 24/7. The crime spree ended as soon as it started.

Hellwig is doing a great job.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Director Hellwig is doing a great job as an Public Safety director.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Examples of where Martin Helwig has dropped the ball: failure to install speed bumps on through roads such as Kensington Avenue and failure to initiate restricted street parking in appropriate residential neighborhoods between 11:00 AM+/- and 6:00 PM+/-. These are common practices in communities where quality of life is a top priority. Martin Helwig is one of many top paid employees in Mayor Briggs Administration, as well as, those working for the Plainfield Board of Education in top management positions - who collect big paychecks and don't live in Plainfield. When they leave Plainfield, we will have little to show for their presence.

12:01 PM  

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