April 8, 2021


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Newark, NJ–April 8, 2021—Mayor Ras J. Baraka joined dignitaries from across the nation to hear President Joe Biden unveil his first executive actions to reduce gun violence in America, in a White House Rose Garden ceremony. Referring directly to a recent wave of mass shootings, President Biden said that gun violence in America must be addressed as “a public health crisis.” The proposed measures include significant grants for alternative strategies to reduce gun violence and support community violence intervention programs across the nation, including job training and job opportunities.


Reacting to the President’s remarks, Mayor Baraka said: “I was invited because of the work we have been doing in the community to address violence as a public health issue. It was refreshing to hear the President and US Attorney General Merrick Garland say that violence cannot be solved by police alone. They recognize what we have long known: crime must be prevented before it starts. We must disconnect residents from drugs, gangs, and violence and re-connect them with jobs, training, and career opportunities. We must separate deadly weapons from people with deadly intentions. I am proud to come here today and show that Newark supports President Biden’s bold leadership.”

Under Mayor Baraka’s administration, the City of Newark has strategically invested in community-based public safety and public health responses to support police in reducing violence.  


Recent Police Division initiatives have resulted in the following:

  • Over the past 20 years—since year 2000—crime in the city is down in almost every category. Newark crime was down 70 percent in 2020 when compared to year 2000. Year 2020 also showed crime reductions of near 85 percent when compared to each of the three previous decades.  
  • Equipping each member of Newark Police Division—from the Chief of Police down to the most recently hired officer—with a body worn camera is another positive step toward violence reduction. In fact, Newark created a new unit that reviews every use of force incident. A notable result of the body-worn camera use is that not a single shot was fired by a Newark Police Officer in year 2020.
  • Newark Police also established two Community Service Officers in each of our seven precincts. These officers are responsible for addressing the needs within the neighborhoods they serve. Before COVID-19, they could be seen at Neighborhood Block Watch meetings, hosting Coffee-with-a-Cop or Soup-with-a-Cop events, conducting anti-bullying programs with school students, participating in after-school or recreation center programs, and helping our seniors avoid online scams.

Additionally, in June 2020, the City moved five percent, about $12 million of the city’s public safety budget, into a newly-created Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery. This office is working collaboratively from a community-based public safety approach to address gun violence by mediating, supporting, advocating, and providing resources in the community. The work of prevention, intervention, and treatment is taking place to prevent the vicious cycle of gun violence.

The City is using a collective strategy that includes organizations and institutions such as University Hospital Violence Intervention Program, Newark Street Academy, Brick City Peace Collective, Newark Community Street Team, Newark Antiviolence Coalition, My Brothers Keeper, Equal Justice USA, Beth Israel Hospital, Opportunity Youth Network, Newark Public Safety Collaborative, Newark Public Safety Department, Newark Public Schools, The HUBB, and others to achieve this goal.  


For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website at


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