“War Zone Conditions” in Trenton Prompt State Trooper Response


The Monday after Trenton experienced four homicides in a single weekend, acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman had a 6:30 a.m. phone conversation with State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes, says the Newark Star-Ledger. Gun violence in the capital city had become a virtual daily occurrence. “The first thing we said to each other was, 'That's enough,' ” Hoffman said. “The war zone conditions that we see in this city that break our hearts are intolerable.” They decided to fast-track efforts already in the works to send more state troopers into Trenton to aid the city's police force, down 140 positions after mass layoffs nearly two years ago. Before dawn yesterday, more than 60 state troopers, sheriff's officers, and federal agents descended for a warrant sweep that ended with 15 fugitives in handcuffs. It was the leading edge of a new, stepped-up deployment of the State Police in the capital city to combat surging violent and gun crime that has left 29 people dead and more than 150 people shot in 2013. The effort is being paired with a new directive from the attorney general's office that makes harsher prison sentences for gun crimes mandatory, even in the cases of plea bargains.

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