Mayor W. Reed Gusciora created the largest public safety advisory committee in New Jersey, empowering 11 prominent members of the community to formalize the engagement process between City departments, community stakeholders, and the residents of Trenton.

“One mayor cannot do this alone. Two people, a mayor and a police director, can’t do this,” Gusciora said in a press conference at City Hall. “We must do this together. It’s going to take all of us. It’s going to take our police team, yes. But it’s also going to take our health team, our inspections team, our housing and fire and recreation teams.”

Known as the CHANGE (Citizens’ Health And Neighborhood Growth Engagement) Committee, its members will issue a public safety advisory report every six months, so that the administration, City Council, and other agencies like the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and Trenton Public Schools can formally receive community feedback to inform decisions.

“We started with police, fire, housing, and the health department to cooridate in public safety. This is an extension of that,” said Trenton Police Director Steve Willson. “The expansion of that idea, of the department heads going out to the public…We can’t do it alone, police can’t do it alone, the fire department can’t do it alone, all these things have to work in conjunction…to make the city safer and to make the city more prosperous.”

The Executive orders read that it is the goal of City leaders to work with the community to make Trenton a safer place to live and do business in. “, it is the goal of City leaders to solicit input from and coordinate with community leaders, treatment providers, and citizen volunteers to sustainably address and develop short-term and long-term strategies for improved public health and public safety.”

The focus of the committee, laid out in the executive order, includes:

  1. Policies and Procedures
  2. Leadership, Talent, and Recruitment
  3. Use-of-Force Tactics and Less-than-Lethal Weaponry
  4. Community Relations and Partnerships

The eleven members of the CHANGE Committee are:

  • Charles Boyer
  • Jonette Smart
  • Kenneth Miles
  • Pearlie Ames-Murray
  • Phillip Bonaparte
  • Rachel Cogsville-Lattimer
  • Regina Thompson-Jenkins
  • Robert Donaldson
  • Rosa Lewis
  • Rosa Rosado
  • Timothy Jordan

The external agencies providing liaisons to the CHANGE Committee are:

  • Office of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman
  • Office of State Senator Shirley Turner
  • Offices of Assembly Representatives Verlina Reynolds-Jackson & Anthony Verrelli
  • Trenton Public Schools
  • Trenton Housing Authority
  • Mercer County County Executive
  • Mercer County Commissioners
  • Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office

“It’s going to take community partners from the state, from Mercer County, and from inside our City — maybe even from City Council,” Gusciora continued. “But most of all, it’s going to take the engagement of our citizens. These remarkable citizens have offered their time and dedication as members of the inaugural CHANGE Committee. They are the leaders we need to start the discussion.”


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