Police Director Sheilah Coley orders show of force in Newark after recent spike in violence
NEWARK - Newark's police director ordered every active man and woman on the force into the streets to stop an onslaught of violence in the Brick City on Thursday.
The directive comes after a jump in violent crime in recent days. Officers were asked to come in uniform and show strength in numbers.
Large scale concentrations of police resources are unusual, but is reportedly in response to a spike in shootings and shots fired.
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"Targeting areas with a lot of criminal activity," says Sharif Amenhotep, of the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition. "If their presence is seen, it could be a deterrent for criminals and criminal activity."
The special order tells officers the mobilization will "address all criminal activity, narcotics activity, and quality of life violations." It also tells personnel to "be equipped with traffic summons books and City Ordinance Books."
The order comes in the transition of power to Mayor-elect Ras Baraka, who spoke Thursday at a meeting for the People's Organization for Progress.
Amenhotep sees the order as an opportunity for Police Director Sheilah Coley to assert her power and gain momentum as a new mayor takes office.
"I see people excited," Amenhotep says. "Young people, more people want to get involved in the community because of his push for if he becomes mayor, we become mayor. "
The special order was for one day only. Police have not said whether it could be extended or issued again. The police director did not respond to News 12 New Jersey's request for comment.