Throughout 2013, Newark saw about 111 deaths related to gun violence. Former Newark mayor and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D) told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that despite the murder rate, Newark has had a reduction in crime.
“There’s been dozens less people shot in Newark this year compared to others,” said Booker. “The challenge is those murders are not only gun violence; actually the murders include homicide as well.”
Overall Newark has seen a 5 percent drop in crime in several categories including shootings, aggravated assault and car thefts, according to Booker. The last two months have been the most brutal in Newark said Booker.
In order to make the streets safer in Newark and throughout the state, Booker said that he is working on legislation with other U.S. senators.
“This is the common sense things that Republicans and Democrats can agree that I feel like I was elected to the United States Senate to do,” said Booker.
As for where the weapons used in crimes are coming from, Booker said that those weapons are being brought in from places that lack strict gun control laws. Booker also said that background checks need to be passed throughout the country.
In Camden, crime rates dropped in 2013 and more officers have been added to its police force. Booker said that Newark is on track to hire more police officers and that the city needs to hire more officers to get more police on the streets.
“This stuff doesn’t know boundaries any more. We need to start investing in the collaborative policing that begins to undermine the kind of violent crime that we all are deeply grieved by that is happening in the state of New Jersey,” said Booker.
In order to keep the violence off the streets and away from children, Booker said that guns cannot be easily accessible and officials need to invest in safety and security and background checks.