April 25, 2024


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Newark, NJ—April 25, 2024—Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Lakeesha Eure, Public Safety Director Fritz G. Fragé, and Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery (OVPTR) Director Kyleesha Wingfield-Hill today announced Summer Safety Initiative 2024, scheduled to begin on Friday, May 3. It will include a robust array of youth-oriented programs and services, including the newly designed juvenile curfew engagement process.


“We’re beginning this summer with the end in mind,” Mayor Baraka said. “Our primary objective is to ensure that all Newark residents, including our youth, enjoy a safe and fun-filled summer. “This year, we are taking a holistic approach by facilitating the leadership of the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery in pursuing this goal. OVPTR is dedicated to meeting both the practical and social needs of Newark youth, from career-development opportunities to healing circles, educational programs, and referral services, as well as music, dance, fine arts, and other educational and entertainment-based programs.”


“A new day is dawning in the City of Newark,” said Deputy Mayor Eure. “Our approach to offering a safe summer to our youth is progressive and ever-evolving. Accompanying OVPTR’s exceptional youth-oriented programs is its partnership with the Department of Public Safety to ensure that Newark young people experience positive engagements with police and with each member of our public safety eco-system this summer and beyond.”


“OVPTR is poised to serve Newark young people with a ‘Summer of Hope’ calendar that’s chock full of fun events and programs,” said Director Wingfield-Hill. “Our summer offerings range from Movie Nights to Pop-Up Play Streets, Cops & Kids events, and more. These programs will complement our year-round offering of job-training opportunities, needs-based referrals, and other social services. We hired 150 high-risk youth for our Summer Safe Academy, and are partnering with the Department of Recreation, Cultural Affairs, and Senior Services and the Arts and Education District to provide programming in all of our ‘Hot Spot’ locations, starting this June.” She also noted that the office has funded 24 youth mentorship organizations and nine therapeutic and clinical services organizations to assist OVPTR with its efforts.


“The entire Newark Department of Public Safety wholeheartedly supports Summer Safety Initiative 2024,” Director Fragé said. “The Cops &Kids program is one of my personal favorites because it offers Newark Police and our city’s youth opportunities to organically forge lasting bonds of trust. We look forward to each engagement opportunity that serves to strengthen police-community relations,” he added.


Juvenile Curfew Engagement Process


Beginning on May 3, the newly designed juvenile curfew engagement process will be conducted on weekends, specifically on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On June 21, when the school year ends, the juvenile curfew engagement process will be conducted seven days a week.


During both the weekend engagements and full-week engagements, Newark Police who observe youth on the streets and unaccompanied by an adult during curfew hours will peacefully engage the youth by requesting his or her name, age, address, and parental contact to memorialize the stop in a documented report before reaching out to OVPTR.


The Police Officer will contact OVPTR’s Wellness Response Team, consisting of a licensed OVPTR social worker and/or outreach worker, who will be deployed to the location where the Police Officer is waiting with the youth to be picked up. The Wellness Response Team will arrive in a City of Newark van, accompanied by a Police Officer to ensure the safety of the juvenile and OVPTR staff as the youth is being transported to his or her home address.


In the event that a parent or guardian is not at home or cannot be reached by phone, the youth will be transported to the Re-Engagement Center. OVPTR staff members will conduct an intake process. OVPTR staff will continue attempting to reach the youth’s parent or guardian.


If no parent or guardian can be reached, the juvenile will be transported to a local hospital to receive a medical clearance. If, after four hours in the hospital, no parent or guardian has been reached, the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency will be contacted.


Within 24 to 48 hours after the initial juvenile curfew engagement contact with each youth, OVPTR social workers and outreach workers will follow up with families via phone contact or by conducting a home visit with an assessment regarding eligibility for additional resources.



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