NEWARK, N.J. -- Newark released statistics on Friday showing violent crimes went down in the city in 2022. Mayor Ras Baraka said homicides are at a 60-year low.
Homicides in Newark are down by 15 percent over the past year, according to Baraka. Shootings are down by 35 percent, he said.
"To me it means that there's 15 percent less funerals that we have to go to, less trauma," said Baraka.
Residents said they see a difference.
"But it still happens. You can't get rid of it entirely. All you can do is try to contain it," one person said.
Baraka said Newark is treating crime as a public safety issue, like it did with COVID, by identifying hot spots and bolstering patrols in those areas.
"The biggest thing is throughout the whole county numbers are up. So for Newark to have numbers down is extremely incredible," said Newark Public Safety Director Fritz G. Frage.
Baraka credited the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery, which works with community activists and residents.
"We have social workers, outreach workers, victim advocates that people can walk in and get assistance and get help when they don't want to walk into a police station, because there's still that lack of trust with law enforcement," said Lakeesha Eure, director of the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery.
Eure's office works with police. When two officers were shot in November, the department helped evacuate buildings and set up safe havens.
Officials said they're not taking a victory lap since carjackings and up. They're focusing on bringing those numbers down.
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