NEWARK, N.J. (WCBS 880) – Shootings. Carjackings. Robberies.
Crime in Newark is on the rise and is showing no signs of slowing down, WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports.
Two more people were shot on Friday morning, just days after three people—including two teenagers—were killed and four others wounded in separate shootings that occurred about 90 minutes apart.
In order to get a grip on the spike in crime, Mayor Cory Booker said they’re getting reinforcements from county, state and federal agencies and more cops will be on patrol throughout the city.
“So we’ve increased the number of police officers on the streets of Newark dramatically all through this weekend and we plan on keeping that level of engagement up until we beat back this trend,” Booker said.
Crime in the city is up 7 percent from 2009, according to the Newark Police Department website.
This week’s shootings also came just days after a lieutenant in the state Attorney General’s Office had his vehicle carjacked.
To combat the carjackings, representatives from the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office and Essex County Prosecutor’s office have also formed a special task force targeting robberies and carjackings.
Newark officials and Essex County authorities say it’s not yet known what sparked the shootings and if any or all of them were connected. However, Booker says they’re trying everything to slow down the crime.
“We’re putting everything we have into this. We’ve been having budget strategy sessions where we’re looking at every possible dollar to invest in our police department whether it be in technology, overtime, or other strategies,” Booker said. “So this is something that every area of our city is focused on. We’re putting everything that we have out into the community to protect people.”
While many residents blame the recent violence on the city’s decision to lay off 167 police officers, both the Essex County prosecutor’s office and the Newark Police department say the uptick in crime started before they left the force last month.