Newark Mayor Luis Quintana, law enforcement officials announce increase in police to fight rising crime rate
NEWARK - Newark Mayor Luis Quintana and Newark Police Director Sam DeMaio joined a dozen other local officials to announce a new round of crime fighting strategies for 2014.
Despite a drop in assaults and total number of shootings, murder and robberies were way up in the Brick City in 2013.
DeMaio says a lack of proper staffing is the reason and that the department will hire 100 new police officers. The city also plans to add new police vehicles, including 26 new SUVs and 10 unmarked cars.
READ MORE: New Jersey Top Stories
The department plans to put civilians in charge of communication and finance in order to free up even more officers. The officers will use the updated vehicles to more aggressively patrol the city's borders.
Police department statistics showed Newark topped 100 murders in 2013, the first time that has happened since 2007. Police say that of the 105 people killed in Newark last year, five had been shot the previous year but died in 2013 and one person was killed inside a prison.
The murder rate had dropped to 67 in 2008 but has risen steadily since then.
Newark's first class of 50 new officers will enter the academy in March. The second round of 50 will enter as soon as the first graduates.
For the complete news conference, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.