NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Newark is getting some federal help for juvenile crime prevention initiatives.
Mayor Cory Booker and U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg announced Monday the city will receive a federal grant of about $2 million to continue and expand current initiatives.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Stopping The Cycle Of Violence
Booker said Newark will never be able to arrest its way to safer streets and that billions of dollars have been wasted trying to round up violent drug dealers and gang members.
“I thought to myself, ‘This is ridiculous, what are we doing here?'” he said.
In addition to job training, the money will go in part to adding four new community police officers in two of the city’s most crime-plagued wards.
Newark officials will also try a new approach to end the cycle of violence by offering a support system to ex-cons.
“It is far cheaper to case-manage a person whose high at risk for criminality than to do nothing for them and have to spend ungodly resources chasing after them, arresting them and then trying to clean up the pain that they’ve caused,” Booker said.
The grant will focus on community outreach.
“The way to solve crime problems is to empower people to ensure that crime does not happen in the first place,” Booker said.
He believes support and job training will keep those at risk on the straight and narrow.
Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio says the four new officers are a fraction of the more than 160 Newark officers recently laid off. But DeMaio says every officer counts as the city tries to find ways to hire back police.
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