Paterson, N.J., is applying the two-pronged approach of the CeaseFire program to address a surge of violence there, reports the Bergen Record. CeaseFire, which has been used in cities across the country, combines aggressive policing with community outreach in neighborhoods hardest hit by gun violence. Paterson police devote five detectives to a special CeaseFire unit that investigates every shooting. Officials point to a higher arrest ratio and a declining crime rate as positive signs, but the program has suffered budget cuts.
But Paterson’s crime rate is still high. The city had 53 shooting incidents last year; 67 people were shot, 13 of them were killed. As of last week, eight people had died in 29 shooting incidents in 2010. In 2009, Paterson had a violent-crime rate of 9 incidents per 1,000 residents, about the same as Newark’s and higher than the national average for cities of 100,000.