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NJ cities unite to battle crime in urban areas

With violent crime continuing to plague urban areas in New Jersey, the state’s three largest cities are launching a unique anti-crime initiative.

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Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, left, answers a question as Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Steven M. Fulop, right, and Paterson, N.J., Mayor Jose Torres, center
Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, left, answers a question as Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Steven M. Fulop, right, and Paterson, N.J., Mayor Jose Torres, center (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Law enforcement officials in Newark, Jersey City and Paterson will share intelligence and manpower in a bid to make the streets safer.

During a news conference in Jersey City on Monday, Paterson Mayor Jose Torres said the goal of the joint operation Cease Fire Task Force is “the reduction of street level violence in our inner cities, and senseless loss of life that goes along with it.”

Torres said this will be the largest anti-crime unit of its kind in the state and will allow authorities “to respond effectively to the areas designated as hot-spots location throughout any one of our three municipalities. This will create a unit that at any given time can literally flood dozens if not hundreds of police officers into a target area with the sole purpose of reducing gun violence, and restoring a sense of security and ownership from the decent and hard working citizens of our communities.”

He stressed it is the responsibility of city leaders to continually seek innovative and creative approaches that respond to the needs of the community in ways that prove to be efficient and effective.

Steve Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City, said the three cities share similar challenges on the crime front, and a shared approach makes sense because “a lot of the same people are involved not only in Jersey City but they’re the same people involved in Paterson, they’re the same people involved in Newark.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka agreed.

“This will allow police to focus on any given hot spot in any given municipality, sharing our intelligence so that we could continue to rid the streets of this deviant behavior,” he said.

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