Police Layoffs Playing A Role In Surge In Newark Crime

NEWARK (CBS 2) — There has been a huge increase in violent crimes in Essex County, particularly in Newark. The trend is so alarming, the county prosecutor is calling in the National Guard to help combat the violence.

There were three murders in just a nine-hour period in Newark this week, and since the police layoffs 10 days ago, six people have been shot and there have been a number of carjackings.

It’s the kind of violence that residents know too well.

Cynthia Andrews’ son, Mujaheed, was recently gunned down.

“They took a part of my heart away from me, and my son is just gone, and they still haven’t found the killer,” she said.

The prosecutor’s office said it’s not just Newark, but a surge of violence across Essex County. The office is banding together with 11 agencies, including state police and New Jersey National Guard helicopters, to fight the upswing in crime.

Have the police layoffs in Newark contributed to the spike in violence?

“It’s something we’re mindful of and looking at, but it’s too early to tell,” Thomas Fennelly, chief assistant prosecutor in Essex County, said.

So far this year, there have been 119 homicides in Essex County, including 76 in Newark.

Sherriff’s officers will patrol streets and set up checkpoints.

“Both the layoff syndrome, as well as the spike in violence, are not a Newark problem,” Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said. “It’s a New Jersey problem, it’s a national problem.”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Newark’s police director were unavailable for comment, but crime statistics show that when the Newark Police Department laid off police back in 1978, there was an increase in murders. Those numbers dropped when they rehired several years later.

“We still have bodies out here, on the streets, dropping dead,” Andrews said.

While Andrews applauded the newly formed coalition, she said she can’t understand how police officers are being laid off.

Bergen and Union Counties will also work with Essex County.

Law enforcement officials said that there is another alarming trend – because newer cars have anti-theft devices, more criminals are carjacking drivers at gunpoint.

Comments (17)
  1. easy says:

    its crazy that the police are being layed off , but Booker is still but all his friends to work!!!!!!!!!!! thats some stuff for you!!!

  2. Frank Bellina says:

    I had the pleasure of speaking to Mr. McKenna the Homeland Security Director for the State of New Jersey last week. I emailed a question to a show on NJN 12 called Capital Hot Seat were Mr. McKenna was a guest and he would answer questions pertaining to New Jerseys Homeland Security. I emailed four questions but the host of the show picked only one and the question was “With budget cuts and layoffs in Newark and Jersey City how does that effect New Jersey’s Homeland Security” and his answer was NO ONE at my level is telling me our Homeland Security has changed. I couldn’t believe that answer so I called into the show and got lucky and I became the next caller to ask my follow up question to Mr. McKenna. “I’m telling you we have no manpower for Homeland Security, all the money for equipment and trucks and all the training New Jersey spent on police and firefighters to provide Homeland Security post 911 was wasted at this point because of NO MANPOWER”
    He had no answer that addressed this problem, so with this I say wake up New Jersey cutting the fat is one thing but if you take a train, bus, plane, travel to work through a tunnel or drive over a bridge or your expecting some cargo coming from Port Newark you better start asking who’s protecting the citizens of New Jersey? And what was the plan post 911 when all your tax money was spent on equipment, trucks and training, and why is all this cutting of the fat killing New Jerseys’ Homeland Security.
    Frank Bellina
    Newark Firefighter 30 years
    Special Operations

  3. Mig says:

    propety value must be droping fast over there..it does not make sense that nj is laying off cops.
    who are the dummies running that state?
    they should have their kids go to public school in newark.so they can see how it feels to have their love ones in that area.

    1. Frank Bellina says:

      The resources they are looking to mobilize if you equate them to dollars we are talking in the millions, all taxpayers’ money! My question is if this Governor is so smart why I’m I out thinking him? Hey New Jersey this is a shell game and your Governor is playing with our lives so wake up…….! Mr. Governor just give the money to the city and bring the cops back NOW

  4. Herbie Original Situation Raskin says:

    Essex county New Jersey is one of the top three taxed counties in the U.S. – a perfect example why throwing money at a problem is not a solution!!!!

  5. J says:

    They need a gun buy back program!

  6. Jack says:

    It’s Planet of the Apes over there. What do you expect?sorry to offend the apes by connecting them to the savages in Newark

  7. Bartholomew Harte says:

    You mean we Still have N.G. troops on this side of the world?
    We could use a Full division along the Arizona Border,a.s.a.p.!!

  8. green says:

    start up the death penalty and no more life in prison bull shyt. This would save some $200.000 a year per inmate in tax money.

  9. otto says:

    yes yes yes! we need soldiers on our streets. i want to see the guys in camouflage carrying machine guns. they can stop anyone and everyone and ask for their “papers”. we need to end posse comitatus. give the soldiers total control. give them the power to search anyone they want – there is no need for the 4th amendment – hey, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

    the heck with freedom. i want to be safe.

  10. Hornet Montana says:

    Essex Fells masterminds this violence.

    1. Herbie Original Situation Raskin says:

      please explain.

      1. Hornet Montana says:

        It was the most harmless town I could think of. (belly laugh commences)

  11. guest says:

    Why they decided to lay off cops in one of America’s most violent cities makes no sense.

  12. Son K. Lam says:

    Lay off police and crime goes up… wow, who would have thought there’s a connection between the number of cops and crime!

  13. nathan r says:

    NOt as bad as bay area cities like Richmond or Oakland… they don’t call the guard.. lol

  14. Kevin Koepke says:

    I saw this coming…
    Now the criminal element will up the ante; they won’t give up their turf to anyone.
    And it is likely they have heavy enough weapons to do battle with the Guard…
    Now it’s a wait and see game…

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