NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Twelve law enforcement agencies are joining forces to stem a spike in violent crime in northern New Jersey.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino called for cooperation after 167 police officers were laid off in Newark.

There have been five homicides, 11 shootings and six carjackings throughout Essex County in the past week, mostly in Newark.

Six people were shot on Dec. 4 and three people were killed in a 12-hour period between Monday and Tuesday.

Laurino said he wants to be proactive even though it’s “too early to tell” if the Newark layoffs are directly related to the surge in violence.

The initiative includes prosecutors in Essex, Bergen and Union counties, the State Police, the Attorney General’s office, the New Jersey National Guard and police in Newark, Irvington, East Orange and Orange.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Watch & Listen LIVE