TRENTON, NJ (WCBS 880) – Overall crime is on the rise in the Garden State.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney On The Story

Murders jumped 16 percent last year in New Jersey. It was up 10 percent in big cities and 21 percent in rural areas.

“It’s a concern. It’s obviously a concern,” said Mitchell Sklar, executive director of the State Association of Chiefs of Police.

Overall, crime rose 1 percent statewide in 2010.

“Police leaders from all over the state have to look at what they think is contributing to the trend,” Sklar told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

He says the numbers could be due to the economic downturn or police layoffs, but it depends on each locale’s situation.

“It takes a real analysis of what’s going on locally and then fitting it into a larger context and determining what  best strategies locally, regionally, or statewide might be employed,” he said.

But Sklar doesn’t necessarily think this means the state is now not as safe.

Do you feel safe in New Jersey? Sound off in the comments section below!

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