Today’s #BlueFriday honoree is the Director of Public Safety in Newark, Anthony Ambrose. Leading a police force in any major city is a huge undertaking. In a dangerous city like Newark it’s especially trying. Decades of failed leadership and increasing crime have hurt local residents. I’ve often talked about solutions that go back to successful models of city policing from the past couple decades. Looks like the team in Newark are starting to make some headway.
One of those practical solutions for rising city crime is “discretionary policing”. This idea is based on the tremendous success of Rudy Giuliani in NYC basing law enforcement on the “Broken Windows” theory. When Rudy took over the Mayor’s office murderers in the city had risen to an unthinkable level of more than 2,600 each year. Under the new policies, the rate dropped precipitously reducing killing by more than 65%.
In Newark, Ambrose and Mayor Baraka seem to have adopted some of these policing policies, at least to the extent that they are focused on the ‘Quality of Life’ for Newark residents. For four days in July they continued the practice conducting a crackdown in the West and Central wards arresting 18 suspects and stopping more than 100 vehicles and checking locations for criminal activities. This is a big change from the reactionary policing waiting for 911 to be called. This is a step in the direction of crime prevention instead of simply catching the criminals after the act. We’re seeing similar police success in Camden and in Atlantic City when crime is also on the decline.
I’ll keep bringing you the stories of brave police officers serving our communities every Friday on New Jersey 101.5 and Chasing News. For today, let’s appreciate the hard work and efforts of Director Ambrose and the officers under his leadership. Thanks to their efforts, there are families breathing a bit easier in Newark headed into the weekend.