June 10, 2020

Joint Effort Safe Streets Says “Thank You” To Five Public Servants in Time of Crisis

By Donald Gilpin

Five local leaders will be honored with special recognition for their service to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Joint Effort Princeton Witherspoon-Jackson Safe Streets Program has announced.

As it looks forward to its annual August celebration — to be held virtually this year —Joint Effort Safe Streets has decided “in a random act of acknowledgement, to say thank you to five extraordinary public servants in Princeton,” according to Joint Effort Safe Streets organizer John Bailey.

“Commitment and leadership are rare qualities today for a lot of people in positions of influence,” Bailey said. “At that intersection between commitment and leadership is integrity. In Princeton we have been so fortunate to have leaders with commitment and integrity.”

Cited for their “enhanced sense of expanded morality,” these five public servants include Steve Cochrane, Princeton Public Schools (PPS) superintendent; Jessica Deutsch, PPS Board of Education member; Liz Lempert, Princeton mayor; Nick Sutter, Princeton Police Department chief; and Marc Dashield, Princeton municipal administrator.

“This pandemic health crisis has moved these five leaders to step up every day, to be vigilant, and to communicate to the residents about the impact on everyday life in Princeton,” a Joint Effort press release states. “We can’t say enough about the real leadership they have shown us, especially during this disruptive COVID-19 time.”

Praising Cochrane as an outstanding educational leader and a role model, Bailey wrote, “Steve Cochrane has led the district with experience and a sense of direction and vision that has made Princeton Public Schools among the very best in New Jersey.”

Deutsch was lauded as a school board member for her “willingness to tackle the hard issues and her commitment to closing the achievement gap.”  She was described by Safe Streets as “a listener who wanted to hear all sides, who always wanted to know the educational value and the impact on kids.”

Lempert was acclaimed for her “historic” contribution to Princeton. “Her quiet yet focused leadership style has been the calming hand that is needed and that has positioned Princeton to be the envy of every town in New Jersey,” Bailey noted. “She has been a beacon of hope and a bridge for those who want to give to the positive and progressive future of the town.”

Describing Sutter as “one of the finest public safety
officers I know,” Bailey highlighted his “willingness to make the Princeton Police Department more diverse and encouraging fair community policing,” adding, “Nick Sutter sets that ‘safe community’ tone in Princeton, and we are fortunate to have him as our chief of police.”

Bailey emphasized that Dashield is “a man of all seasons and all problems.” He went on, “Marc has led by example and portrays the excellence we all expect from a dedicated town administrator. Marc makes himself available to the community.”

Founded by Bailey and Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society President Shirley Satterfield more than a dozen years ago, Joint Effort Safe Streets will soon be announcing plans for its week in August of virtual educational, celebratory, and athletic events, Bailey said.  “Celebrating Life by Honoring Our Past, Recognizing Our Families, and Lifting Up Our Town” was the theme of last year’s event.