On the job for only two weeks, Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy tell the Newark Star-Ledger that he has come up with a “three-pillar” strategy to bring down the city’s crime rate. The first is to crack down on low-level “quality-of-life” crimes, like public drinking and noise, that create a general sense of disorder. The second is to improve the city’s computerized crime-tracking system so precinct commanders have the resources to attack street crime. The third is creating a narcotics unit to focus on midlevel drug dealers.
That approach worked for McCarthy in New York City, where he was a precinct commander and the police department’s chief crime strategist during a period in which crime dropped to historic lows. “We want to bring a new level of sophistication and move Newark to the next level,” he said. Mayor Cory Booker has made crime reduction the top priority of his fledgling administration, and hired McCarthy to help him deliver on the promises. When the mayor took office in July, overall crime was up for the year, including a rise in shootings and homicides. Since then, Booker says, overall crime, including shootings, are down. Homicides are on pace to surpass last year’s 97, the most in the city in a decade.