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New Jersey Cities Announce Partnership For Public Safety, Other Services

A Newark Police Department cruiser. (Credit Steve Sandberg)

A Newark Police Department cruiser. (Credit Steve Sandberg)

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Three northern New Jersey mayors on Monday announced plans for a partnership between mayors around the state to improve public safety and reduce costs.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, and Paterson Mayor Jose Torres announced the agenda of the Partnership for New Jersey Cities Monday at the Hub Shopping Center in Jersey City.

The partnership will allow for multi-city initiatives to maintain public safety in cities around the state, and will involve roundtable discussions to share best practices and create solutions in conjunction with the Rutgers Police Institute.

“Public safety is a top priority of my administration and we cannot address it solely as a Newark issue. We must work with other municipalities in our state against it,” Baraka said in a news release. “We must work as a team to address crime at its roots and its results, preventing it before it happens and uniting to apprehend criminals after it does. We must provide residents, as well as offenders with alternatives to gangs and drugs, and provide them with jobs and hope.”

Among the discussions planned for an upcoming Urban Mayors Roundtable will be the sharing of services in tracking criminals who flee one city for another, and the sharing of gang intelligence, police manpower, anti-violence programs, and police minority recruitment and exam programs.

Initiatives beyond law enforcement were also placed on the table. The mayors said the cities could also collaborate on quality of life improvement and economic development issues, such as requiring banks holding municipal accounts to work with city governments on foreclosure, and setting up a midnight basketball league with teams for the cities, the release said.

The mayors also advised drafting purchase agreements with vendors to allow for bulk purchases of municipal goods between the cities, the release said.

“We see a strong potential for significant cost savings for our cities by combining and leveraging our purchasing power for large items such as salt and parks and public works equipment,” Fulop said in the release. “Not only will we see a reduced cost of goods, but we will also have a stronger voice in the marketplace.

The mayors also advised that employment, training and job entry programs could be set up using the combined resources of Jersey City, Newark and Paterson, the release said.

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