Homicides are on the rise across New Jersey, according to data collected from NJ county prosecutor’s offices.
NJ Advance Media recently released the results of a survey of prosecutor’s offices across the state. The data shows that 375 people were killed as a result of violent incidents in New Jersey in 2015, a notable increase on the 361 deaths caused by violence in 2014.
At least some law enforcement officials are surely disappointed by the news, especially in light of the efforts being undertaken to stop violent crime in cities across New Jersey. In Newark, NJ, for example, Mayor Ras Baraka asked the city council to name a new chief of detectives to work in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Beyond that, Baraka has called for the city to consolidate the positions of police director and fire director in a new public safety department so that crime fighting operations in Newark can be streamlined. Baraka specifically noted that the status quo is not working and that he, and others in charge in Newark, “desperately need to do something different” in the battle against crime.
Baraka’s call for changes to the status quo when it comes to law enforcement and fighting violent crime comes after a year in which 105 people were killed in homicides throughout the city. Things were particularly bad in November and December: 25 murders were committed in Newark during the final two months of 2015.
Elsewhere in Essex County, New Jersey, homicides were also trending in the wrong direction last year. East Orange saw 11 homicides, while five people were murdered in Orange. On the whole, Essex County accounted for nearly 40 percent of all homicides in the Garden State.
Beyond the Essex County borders, at least a few municipalities in New Jersey have been able to get things trending in the right direction. Paterson saw a remarkable decrease in the overall number of homicides, going from 26 murders in 2014 to a total of just eight killings in 2015. Meanwhile, the presence of regional police forces on streets in Camden and Trenton has had a positive effect on local law enforcement’s efforts to stop violent crimes before they happen.
To learn more about the rising homicide rate in New Jersey, view the NJ.com article entitled, “Despite Progress in Cities, N.J. Homicides Jump 4 Percent in 2015.”
If you or a loved one is being investigated for murder, manslaughter or homicide in New Jersey, you need a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side. The knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC have more than 80 years of combined experience representing clients facing criminal charges in superior and municipal courts throughout NJ. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.