The City of Paterson continues to battle with issues around gun violence. Over the past several weeks alone the city has seen a rash of shootings.

Last weekend, two men were injured during a shooting at Market Street and Cianci Street. Reports indicate that police were called to the area after reports of shots being fired but when they arrived there were no victims. Later police learned the two victims were taken to the hospital via private vehicle with gunshot wounds. 

Two weeks ago, Paterson saw its 27th homicide victim when 27-year-old Khadijah Wilson was fatally shot near the corner of Park Avenue and Summer Street. Wilson was taken to the hospital by private vehicle where she died, according to reports. No arrests have been made.

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., co-chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice awarded a $700,000 federal grant to the Paterson Police Department to establish a Crime Gun Intelligence Center. The grant is part of the DOJ’s Local Law Enforcement Crime Gun Intelligence Center Integration Initiative, which helps local police utilize state-of-the-art technology to locate crime guns and their sources and effectively prosecute perpetrators. 

“Our brave men and women in uniform put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe. It is imperative that they have every resource they need to continue their vital work,” said Pascrell. “Big cities like Paterson have been the epicenter of America’s gun violence epidemic. With this grant, Paterson PD will have new tools and technology to swiftly identify guns used for criminal purposes and prosecute those who put our community in harm’s way.”

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said he’s grateful for the grant and that it will improve public safety. 

“This announcement couldn’t come at a more fortuitous time,” he said. “Like many cities across the country, we are combating a spike in gun violence but our police need additional resources. This grant gives us the tools and technology necessary to bring violent criminals to justice.”

Pascrell has championed efforts to help state and local law enforcement better trace crime guns as the lead sponsor of the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. The legislation would finally give the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives the ability to electronically search for the records of guns used in crimes across the country.

Archdiocese of Newark’s Mercy House to give 1,000 toys to families in need

By CYRIL JOSH BARKER

Amsterdam News Staff

The Mercy House, a resource and referral center operated by the Archdiocese of Newark’s Respect Life Office, is distributing approximately 1,000 new and unwrapped toys to families in need during its annual Christmas Toy Giveaway on Friday, Dec. 17, at 11 a.m.

Parents who stop by The Mercy House’s location in Newark’s Clinton Hill section will receive one toy per child, along with a small gift such as crayons. The gifts are intended for boys and girls aged 17 and under. Families are encouraged not to bring children to the event to preserve the element of surprise on Christmas.

“No child should ever wake up on Christmas morning without a toy, especially if they believe in Santa,” said Cheryl A. Riley, director of the Respect Life Office. “But many families we serve can’t afford to buy Christmas presents because they’re facing hard times. That’s why it’s so important to us to make sure every child gets a toy. We want to make a difference.”

Toys were donated by archdiocese parishes, schools, and parishioners. Outerbridge CrossFit of Staten Island and members of the Upper Montclair Country Club contributed hundreds of gifts as well. This year, the giveaway will include trendy fidget toys as well as popular building blocks, sports items, and brand-name dolls.

This is the fourth year The Mercy House has held its Christmas Toy Giveaway, a tradition that began when the center first opened in 2018.

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