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New Jersey cities partner in crime

Craig D. Frazier | 8/7/2014, 12:47 p.m.

Last week, the mayors of Paterson, Newark and Jersey City announced a tri-city approach to confront the violence that has plagued their cities in recent years. According to statistics, homicides across New Jersey spiked to a seven-year high in 2013. At least 409 people died violently last year.

More than a quarter of the killings took place in Newark, where homicides totaled 111. Newark saw the most violent 12-month stretch in nearly a quarter-century. In Trenton, the number of homicides soared to 37, the most in the state capital’s recorded history. Paterson recorded 18 homicides, while 13 homicides were the lowest in Jersey City since 1969.

Paterson Mayor Joey Torres, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said they would share services and coordinate community outreach efforts.

“It is a breath of fresh air to be able to work with Mayor Fulop and Mayor Torres around issues plaguing our cities collectively,” said Baraka. “It is a great opportunity for us to work together around issues of public safety and issues of foreclosure that are hitting our communities very hard.”

The police departments from the three cities will share information that tracks the movement of criminals, as well as their employment training and prisoner re-entry. The first part of the shared partnership initiative involves the sharing of intelligence between the Paterson Cease Fire Task Force and the Newark Police Cease Fire unit.

Expect to hear more details on this tri-city approach during a roundtable discussion at Rutgers University in Newark in September. “This is important because it represents a significant partnership and a way of doing things going forward that, we think, will be meaningful and set an example in local, state and, hopefully, federal politics,” said Fulop.