During the public comments portion at the end of tonight’s City Council meeting, Siddeeq El-Amin came to the mic to demand answers and a fair shot. The governing body rejected adding him to agenda last Monday, January 6, after which he could have been confirmed as Director of Public Affairs and Safety. While most details are hammered out in executive session, which is closed to the public, Councilwoman Tracey Brown cited “very distrubing” information about Mr. El-Amin that prohibited her from supporting the long time Plainfielder.
El-Amin claims that any “issues” are beyond his understanding. “During the executive session of the City Council on December 16th, no council member ever asked me any questions regarding my character or leadership,” explained the retired captain.
Mr. El-Amin wanted to publicly address a few misconceptions, the first being a supposed lack of connectedness with Plainfield. He detailed much of his involvement, beginning with his coaching of the 8th and 9th grade football teams in the 1970s and continuing to present day, where he is a trustee at Masjidullah, a member of the Neighborhood Health Services Corporation’s Board of Directors, helps administrate a Muslim community soup kitchen, and co-owns a preschool with his wife.
Another critical misconception, according to Siddeeq El-Amin, is that he is separated from rank and file police officers. “Twice a year I spend two days at the academy teaching all new recruits, not just new recruits from Plainfield… Every Plainfield officer that has attended this academy has had me as an instructor.” Admitting that higher ranking police become more distant from the front lines, he explained that this is only due to a change in responsibilities, like creating policy.
Addressing his supposed disconnect from policing, El-Amin claims to have continued his professional development through the end of his career by attending law enforcement conferences and trainings, and serving as a national board member for two major law enforcement organizations. Even after retirement, he attends conferences for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and NOBLE, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, where he serves as a trustee. “What can my detractors say about their careers?” pondered El-Amin, before dispelling rumors of the firemen not being behind him.
Lastly, Siddeeq El-Amin detailed repeated attempts, since January 6, at contacting the presumably five members of the City Council that do not support his appointment. He claims that Bridget Rivers stood him up four times and that he was only successful in meeting with Gloria Taylor. He was able to reach Tracey Brown briefly, via phone not long before the meeting. “You have apparently been told certain things and alluded to them in public as being very serious and somehow you have taken no initiative to get to the truth,” declared El-Amin, who claims that not one of his references he submitted to the City Council back in November have been contacted as of yet.
So, he has spoken. Should members of the City Council continue to oppose Mr. El-Amin, I suppose it is time for them to give answers as to why.
If you’d like to hear exactly what Siddeeq El-Amin had to say, listen at the bottom of this page.
There were a couple of other noteworthy items at this council meeting, but as I had a late night errand to run, I didn’t get home until 11:00pm. I won’t be happy worker if I get to bed way too late tonight, but I will write more tomorrow evening.