March brought no homicides to Newark, N.J., notes the Wall Street Journal, prompting Mayor Cory Booker to tweet on Twitter: “We did it! 1st calendar free month without a murder since 1966! Welcome to April!!!!” April ended with nine homicides. The crime rate’s yo-yoing only ratchets up the pressure on Booker, whose efforts to revitalize Newark have garnered national attention. The cornerstone of his plan has been reducing crime, which he hopes clear the way for industry and business to relocate here and create jobs in a city where the unemployment reach 14.7% last year.
The mayor’s main partner in that effort has been police director Garry McCarthy, whom Booker lured in 2006 from his job as the New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner of operations. Newark ended the year of his joining with 105 homicides, the most since 1990. McCarthy set out to change things. He instituted “Operation Impact,” a program he started at the NYPD, flooding areas with spikes in crime with foot patrols.