Newark is safer than ever despite recent violence, police say

NEWARK, NJ — Despite a recent uptick in violence, crime is at a 50-year low in the Newark.

Overall crime has dropped considerably over the last two years. It fell 19 percent between 2017 and 2018 followed by another 12 percent drop this year, Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said. He also cited a 23 percent drop in homicides this year and a 10 percent drop in shootings this summer.

The drop might surprise some given that there were five homicides from Aug. 3 through Aug. 9, but there were no shooting homicides in the previous 50 days before those killings.

"We can't get up here and say 'we're going to end total crime and there's not going to be any violence,'" Ambrose said.

He noted the important thing is that there are fewer victims.

Juveniles, who are responsible for 9 percent of crime in the city, are a major concern, Ambrose said.

Essex County Prosecutor Ted Stevens said it’s going to take a community wide effort that starts a home to end the temptations of street life that can derail a child’s future  before they even enter high school.

"The City of Newark cannot mentor its way out of this situation alone," Stevens said. "Options must be created by the entirety of society."

Attorney General Gubir Grewal announced new state funding for a youth initiative to help develop more community programs for at-risk teens.

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