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NJ cops on high alert for gang violence

Last week, following the deaths of Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago and his killer, leaders of the United Blood Nation gang issued threats about attacking other officers.

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In turn, a State Police memo was issued warning officers to take those threats seriously. So far there have not been any violent incidents, but law enforcement officials remain on heightened alert.

“Threats made against law enforcement officers are always a concern, but we are unable to verify the legitimacy of any of those threats or the credibility of any of those threats,” said Acting State Attorney General John Hoffman.

He was quick to add, however, “We’re going to be more safe than sorry, and so even if there’s some rumblings of that, we’re going to make sure we get that information out.”

Hoffman said law enforcement officials on all levels are working effectively together to stop gang violence from spiraling out of control.

“Our relationship with the county prosecutors, I don’t know if it’s ever been better, and they are doing a fantastic job of making sure they’re coordinating with us,” he said. “We do work very closely, we’re in immediate contact with them, we’re in immediate contact with the relevant prosecutors when those issues come up.”

He also said that “part of what a law enforcement officer does, is he becomes a bit of a target, and we have to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect them.”

Hoffman said all law enforcement officers in New Jersey are united and stick together.

“When one of them is threatened, they are all threatened, and their mission is threatened, and we will all protect that mission,” he said. “It’s one we hold dear to our heart.”

When asked what he wants gang leaders in the Garden State to understand, Hoffman paused, then said, “We will devote a lot of energy to making sure that we send out a message that they will not win not only the war; they won’t win any of these battles.”

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