- Governor Jon S. Corzine and Attorney General
Anne Milgram today hailed a dramatic decline
in homicides in the City of Camden, and noted
the results of a statewide anti-violence initiative
launched last summer that is targeted at street
gangs and violent criminals has netted more
than 980 arrests in the city.
Crime Report statistics shows that we are
winning important battles in the war against
violent criminals and gangs, throughout New
Jersey and in the City of Camden" said
Governor Corzine. "Thanks to the efforts
of Attorney General Milgram and the New Jersey
law enforcement community, county task forces,
police departments, and partner agencies,
more than 4,200 offenders have been arrested
for crimes including murder, assault with
a firearm, armed robbery, and gun and drug
trafficking. We know more work remains. Even
one act of violence against a New Jersey citizen
is one too many."
Camden, there were 19 homicides in 2009 as
of August 2, compared to 35 for the same period
of time in 2008, which represents a 46 percent
decline. Statewide, there were 158 reported
homicides in New Jersey in the first six months
of 2009, compared to 209 during the same time
period in 2008 - a 24 percent drop.
Crime Report figures show that murders declined
statewide in 2008, marking the first time
since 1999 that New Jersey has seen a drop
in murders for two consecutive years. Murders
dropped 11 percent in 2007 to 381, the lowest
number since 2002. They dropped to 376 in
broader category of violent crime also declined
statewide in each of the past two years. It
declined 7 percent in 2007, and declined another
.7 percent in 2008.
statistics demonstrate real progress in our
fight against gangs and violent crime,"
said Attorney General Milgram. "We have
taken a very direct approach under Governor
Corzine's anti-crime plan, conducting intelligence-led,
high-impact investigations targeting the command
structures and the most violent members of
the toughest street gangs. By removing hundreds
of violent gangsters from our streets, we
have made our communities safer."
Corzine and Attorney General Milgram announced
the results of the statewide violence reduction
initiative implemented under Governor's Corzine's
Strategy for Safe Streets and Neighborhoods
on Tuesday in East Orange. They discussed
today a series of initiatives specific to
the City of Camden that were first launched
last June to deal with an escalating drug
war involving street gangs. A more than doubling
of the incidents of murder in Camden in the
first five months of 2008 was attributed to
the gang activity.
separate task forces in the city from June
2008 through November 2008 resulted in the
arrests of 306 suspects who were charged with
murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit
murder, assault with a firearm, armed robbery
and drug and gun trafficking. Investigators
solved or assisted in solving eight homicides.
Those arrests included 107 with violent criminal
backgrounds. Forty guns, including 13 assault
weapons were seized. In addition, task forces
seized a variety of drugs with a street value
of approximately $183,000 and about $88,000
the second phase of the initiative, which
began in January 2009 and continues today,
677 people have been arrested, including 221
with violent criminal backgrounds. Forty-five
guns were removed from the streets and drugs
with a street value of approximately $182,000
were confiscated. About $151,000 in cash was
also seized. The second phase initiative has
been aimed at reducing drug gang-related violence
and pursuing violent drug gang members.
statewide initiative involves a collaborative
effort across all levels of law enforcement
in New Jersey to target the most violent street
gangs and reduce the drug trafficking and
gun violence that they inflict on our communities.
Since January, county task forces, police
departments and partnering agencies have arrested
a total of 2,376 offenders under the initiative
for crimes including murder, assault with
a firearm, armed robbery, and drug and gun
arrested include 606 suspected street gang
members belonging to such gangs as the Bloods,
Crips, Latin Kings, and others. Several hundred
more of the arrested offenders were associated
with drug gangs. About 1,047 or 44 percent,
of those arrested have violent criminal backgrounds.
than 409 guns were seized, including 30 assault
weapons. That is an increase of 152 percent
from the first phase of the initiative, when
162 guns were seized. Drugs with a street
value of $5.3 million were seized in the second
phase, compared to $4 million in drugs in
the first phase.
together both phases, more than 4,220 arrests
have been made since the initiative began
last summer, including more than 1,136 suspected
street gang members, and more than 1,647 offenders
with violent criminal backgrounds. More than
$3 million in cash has been seized.
a result of operations during both phases,
authorities were able to prevent 14 homicides.
They solved 30 homicides.
the first six months of 2009, the overall
statewide homicide rate was down every month
as compared to the same month in 2008. The
sharp decline in murders during the past 12
months coincided with implementation of the
first two phases of the statewide violence
were 209 murders in New Jersey during the
first six months of 2008. In the second half
of 2008, as the first phase of the statewide
violence reduction initiative was implemented,
there were 170 homicides in New Jersey, a
19 percent decline from the first six months
of the year. During the first half of 2009,
as the second phase was implemented, there
were 158 homicides, an additional decline
of 7 percent from the prior six months. New
Jersey is on track to see a third straight
year of declines in murders, Milgram said.
Tuesday, Governor Corzine, Attorney General
Milgram and State Police Superintendent Rick
Fuentes announced a new program to assist
law enforcement in tracking gangs. NJ CrimeTrack,
which is being rolled out statewide beginning
this month, is a statewide intelligence-sharing
initiative spearheaded by the State Police
that will provide a database for law enforcement
agencies across the state to collect, store
and share their criminal intelligence related
to street gangs and their illegal activities.
the pilot phase of this new program, more
than 3,400 gang members have been identified,
based on reports from the 16 law enforcement
agencies participating in the pilot. That
number is expected to grow as the program
is rolled out with agencies throughout the
truly is power in the fight against crime,"
said Attorney General Milgram. "Just
as we have enhanced our ability to investigate
illegal gun trafficking in New Jersey through
NJ Trace, our partnership with ATF to trace
all guns recovered in connection with crime
in New Jersey, we will now be able to better
leverage our information on gangs."