Trenton Mayor Anthony Mack asks for help as gun crime surges
CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 12/13/2012, 5:01 p.m.
A recent string of shootings in Trenton has tensions and nerves up, as six took place in a three and half-hour time span. Reports indicate the shootings resulted in four people being injured and two people losing their lives. The shootings are not related.
The incidents included one where a woman was fatally shot after she was rear-ended and was the result of domestic violence. Another man was killed while simply walking through a neighborhood. The deaths mark the 21st and 22nd homicides in Trenton.
The youngest of the victims that night was a 16-year-old, who was injured after he and another man were pulling away in their car when a man came up to them and began shooting. The teen was shot in the hand.
So far, Trenton police have arrested three people in connection with the shootings. Warrants have been issued for the remaining suspects.
"The dedication and professionalism that these detectives and officers displayed throughout the weekend during these investigations was exemplary," Trenton Police Director Ralph Rivera Jr. said in a statement. "Their tireless efforts demonstrated the resolve that the Trenton Police Department has in removing those who wish to harm our citizens from our city streets."
In the day following, more violence rattled the city, with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Joshua Moore and a shooting that wounded six people. This past Tuesday, two men were wounded after being shot within an hour of one another.
Trenton Mayor Anthony Mack sent a letter to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pleading for more law enforcement and money for the city. Mack said that crime has increased as a result of forced downsizing of the city's Police Department because of budget cuts.
"We have taken the necessary steps to improve the efficiency of departmental operations in order to better utilize a smaller police force. While some of these changes have had moderate success, it has become obvious that doing more with less, from a crime suppression standpoint, is not working," Mack said in the letter.
Mack is specifically asking for a permanent battalion of troopers from the state police to work in tandem with the Trenton Police Department and additional public safety funding to expand the police force by an additional 60 to 75 officers, with the vast majority of new hires being placed in the Patrol Bureau.