This past Sunday at 3:24am, a local college student was shot and killed at Lincoln Park. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, whose grief today must be beyond imagining.

The New Rochelle Police have already arrested a suspect, also a young man. Initial reports allege that he and the victim had been together throughout the evening and that a dispute of some kind escalated into violence.

Yes, murders are very rare in New Rochelle, usually occurring only about once a year. Yes, this was a conflict between individuals who knew each other, not a random street crime. And, yes, this occurred in the middle of the night, when Lincoln Park was closed, and families and children were, presumably, fast asleep in their homes.

All of that is true and may provide a measure of reassurance. But it’s also somewhat beside the point, because an incident of this gravity cannot help but shake our feelings of safety and security, especially for those who live closest to the scene of the crime. So this is an important moment to reaffirm our commitment to the present and future of the Lincoln Avenue corridor.

•  We must proceed with our master plan for Lincoln Park, which includes improvements at the community garden and installation of a new play area.

•  We must carefully consider zoning changes that could benefit the neighborhood by stimulating positive street-level activity.

•  We must ensure that Police presence and visibility are provided in the right measures and at the right times.

Lincoln Avenue deserves to be known for its vibrant houses of worship, its wonderful park, and its great neighbors. All of us deserve a society in which this kind of senseless, tragic violence never occurs. As we reflect on a terrible event, let these goals shape our vision and guide our actions.

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