NEWARK - Newark city leaders held a ribbon cutting Wednesday to officially open the new police precinct in the West Ward.

The building has been operational within the police department for the last several years, but a reorganization has now made it into a full police precinct staffed by over 50 police officers.

Leaders say this is in response to an increase of crime reports in the area.

“Opening up this precinct here allows us to have a quicker response to calls for service,” says Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “It also allows us to have the kind of visibility we need across the city so we’re not stretching ourselves thin.”

Newark also plans to add 100 new police recruits to the department this year.