To the Editor:
In the four years I have lived in South Orange, as a Seton Hall student and now as a graduated resident, I have never been truly fearful for my safety until last week when I had to walk up South Orange Avenue and Irvington Avenue alone late at night after coming back from a concert in New York City.
Not only was I the only person to get off the train, but there were no taxis or police officers. As I walked up Irvington Avenue, I was fearful of the few cars that slowly drove by. Someone could have easily pulled over and grabbed me and no one would have been around to hear or see me. The following night I enjoyed a later dinner in the city and returned back on the last train as well. Yet, again there were no police officers or taxis.
Now, I understand that it was a Tuesday night and I shouldn't have been out that late to begin with. But I shouldn't have to pass up the opportunity of a concert, late dinner in NYC or work-related event because I will have to fear for my safety of the 8 minute walk back to my apartment.
South Orange is a community that relies heavily on the train, which lets people off until late at night every day of the week. In fact, the last arrival time every night is 1:55 a.m. I couldn't help but think of other residents or Seton Hall students who may occasionally arrive back in town that late and not have the option of hailing a taxi, having a friend pick them up or the comfort of walking back to their residence with other people who got off the train.
The tragic off-campus shooting and the recent string of armed robberies in close proximity of the Seton Hall campus have only fueled my concern of safety in the community. I hope that these incidents cause the South Orange Police Department and acting officials in the Village to take stronger action against crime to ensure the safety of all South Orange residents.
I believe it would be beneficial to have an officer down at the train station until the last train arrives in South Orange at 1:55 a.m. I know I have seen them there on weekends, but I think they should be patrolling every night. I think it is one way that can put South Orange residents at ease during a time where everyone is a little more concerned about their safety.
Meghan St. John
Seton Hall, Class of 2010