During the past four years, we have worked together to build a safer Jersey City- for all residents, in all neighborhoods. Our focus on public safety is without a doubt the most important. We understand that building safe communities is the first step towards moving our city forward, and over the years we have implemented several important strategies to reach this goal. Here is a look at how we have prioritized public safety in Jersey City:
Largest & most diverse Police Force in 20 Years
Four years ago, we set out to achieve a major public safety goal- to grow the Jersey City Police Department to over 900 officers. Since then, we've hired over 250 new police officers, and have seen out force grow to over 900- the largest the JCPD has been in 20 years.
We have focused on not only building a larger police force, but a more diverse one as well. Nearly 70% of the officers hired since 2013 have been minorities. We understand the importance of building a police force that accurately reflects the diversity of our city, and are proud of the progress we have seen here. In order to further encourage positive community-officers relationships, we have begun to require our new recruits to spend time learning about the communities they will soon serve.
You can read more about our growing police force below:
Increase in Gun Recoveries
Unfortunately, we continue to see the effects of gun violence in cities across the nation. Here in Jersey City, we are tackling this issue in any way possible, even if that means one gun at a time.
Each illegal gun taken off of our streets is a step in the right direction, and we are proud of the progress we have made over the past two years. During this time, we have seen a 68% increase in guns seized by the JCPD.
Fixing the bail reform loophole
Incidents of tragic gun-violence repeatedly occur in a vicious cycle of violence and retaliation, and take a devastating toll on families and the surrounding community. In January of 2017, New Jersey lawmakers instituted a brand-new bail reform system, with the goal of releasing individuals arrested on bail based on their risk to society, not their ability to pay.
However, a crucial loophole exists in this reform: possession of an illegal firearm is classified as a non-violent crime.
Here in Jersey City, we have partnered with legislators and policymakers from throughout Hudson County and the state to demand that this loophole be addresses. Even with an increased focus on gun recoveries from the JCPD, this mis-classification of possession of an illegal gun remains the largest public safety challenge in our city.
Our promise to work towards a gun-free Jersey City depends on our ability to adapt and our dedication to finding policy solutions that move us forward.