Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara both expressed earnest gratitude for President Biden’s partnership with the City of Newark and other major U.S. cities in support of law enforcement’s efforts against gun violence. The resources proposed in President Biden’s strategy to reduce gun crime, namely a $300 million budget request to Congress, is essential to stem the flow of firearms along the “Iron Pipeline,” which flows from the South through New Jersey. Newark represents the state’s largest city and serves as a direct access point to gun traffickers due to its proximity to the Interstate 95 corridor.
We are pleased that these resources will also support our efforts against ghost guns. Newark Police reported an explosive increase of 414 percent in ghost gun recoveries in year 2021 when compared to year 2020. In fact, on the very day President Biden announced his plan to address gun crime, our detectives recovered a ghost gun with a 50-round magazine during the execution of a search warrant. These are weapons of war that have no place in Newark neighborhoods.
The President’s plan to provide funding to cities through his American Recue Plan solidly coincides with the City of Newark’s Violence Reduction Initiative, aimed at reducing violence though a collaborative approach involving our federal, state and county law enforcement partners, coupled with community-based partners under the auspices of the Newark Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery.
The Biden Administration’s proposed $5 billion investment in evidence-based community violence interventions will strengthen the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery’s focused work to address the root causes of gun violence, which is currently impacting every major city in America.