The mayors of Newark, Jersey City, and Paterson, N.J., announced a joint initiative to address violent crime and other public safety issues in their cities. The partnership comes after a rise in violence in all three cities, including the shooting deaths of a 12-year-old girl in Paterson, and a police officer in Jersey City earlier this month.
“Three of the largest cities in the state of New Jersey get to come together,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, at a news conference in Jersey City on Monday. “We get to set the trend and push the direction around issues that are plaguing all of us across the state of New Jersey.”
Residents within earshot of the news conference were cautiously optimistic.
Ernestine Dunbar was born and raised in Jersey City. “It wasn’t like this, we could still leave the windows open, and catch a cool breeze at night,” she said. “But you can’t do that anymore...in fear of people climbing through your windows, holding guns to your head.”
A Jersey City resident who would only give his name as John C. said he’s encouraged by the partnership, as it includes brainstorming ideas to provide additional recreation for kids and address unemployment in the state. “You need them to open up more opportunities, build more factories…things that are going to produce work, and, you know, an income,” he said.
The mayors also spoke about expanding Operation CeaseFire, an initiative aimed at curbing gun violence, and sharing intelligence and resources.