Guns, Drugs: How Newark’s McCarthy Reversed Crime Trend


Newark’s crime turnaround is a testament to Mayor Cory Booker and his handpicked police director, Garry McCarthy, and it shows that New York-style proactive policing can succeed in even the nation's most troubled cities, says City Journal. When Booker, who is seeking reelection on May 11, first tapped McCarthy from the top echelon of the New York Police Department to serve as Newark's police director, the appointment was met with skepticism and even outright hostility.

Among many changes in police practices, McCarthy says the real keys to Newark's crime decline are new anti-narcotics and gun violence reduction strategies. He has established a new “Gun Enhancement Team” that focuses on thoroughly investigating each illegal-firearm recovery. A new 14-page “general order” details how police should handle such investigations. McCarthy also totally revamped narcotics enforcement. “Narcotics are the vehicle that drives violent crime in this city,” he says. When he was commanding officer in New York's 33rd Precinct in Washington Heights, McCarthy made a name for himself by successfully implementing a “model block” program that worked to shut down both the supply and demand ends of the narcotics market in that once drug-infested neighborhood. Now he's applying the same tactics in Newark, with similar success.

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