Garry McCarthy, Newark’s police director for 10 months, had chipped away at the city’s grim crime numbers. When three college students were shot and killed near midnight one day last month behind an elementary school, there was no use saying that most of the city's violence was tied to drug trafficking. “For me to brag about the fact that we're down 10 percent in murders doesn't resonate,” McCarthy, 48, told the New York Times.
“He strikes me as really distinctive combination of a no-nonsense, granite-core cop's cop and – unlike most people who fit that description – entirely open to any new and interesting ways of doing business,” said David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who has been working with Newark. The project will put the police at the table with some of Newark's criminal gangs, in an effort to persuade them to avoid violence. “I'm not keen to make a deal with the devil. I'd much rather arrest them and prosecute them,” McCarthy said. “What's the harm trying if it works?”