Newark, New Jersey has been selected as one of five cities to be added to the Department of Justice’s Violence Reduction Network. The year-old program promoted efforts to reduce crime in Camden last year. The Violence Reduction Network connects cities with federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said that the choice of Newark for the program will enable the city to build upon the success that was achieved in Camden last year. The city plans to target resources to the areas where they can provide the greatest benefit.
The other cities chosen for the Violence Reduction Network this year were Little Rock and West Memphis, Arkansas; Compton, California; and Flint, Michigan. The choices were announced at the second annual VRN Summit in Detroit on Monday, September 28.
Camden was one of six cities chosen for the program’s first year. The program sponsored efforts to reduce crime that included displaying information about wanted felons on digital billboards, helping local police receive National Integrated Ballistic Information Network equipment and training, and initiating eTrace, an online process that is used to trace firearms.
The announcement about Newark’s inclusion in VRN is one of several local, state, and federal measures being taken to improve safety in the city. After an investigation into Newark Police Department practices by the Department of Justice, officials are in the process of choosing a federal monitor to oversee the department’s operations.
Newark recently experienced a spike in homicides. However, according to federal data that was just released, violent crime was down overall in Newark in 2014.