After a violent crime surge in Newark and other northern New Jersey cities, acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino is joining forces with 11 other agencies, including the State Police and New Jersey National Guard, in an effort to halt the spike, says the Newark Star-Ledger. the increase comes on the heels of large-scale police layoffs in Newark and with cutbacks looming in Orange.
Newark laid off 167 officers – the largest reduction in its force in 32 years – on Nov. 30. In the past week, there have been five homicides, 11 shootings and six carjackings throughout Essex County, most of them in Newark. Though it's “too early to tell” if the Newark layoffs are directly related to the surge in violence, Laurino said he wants to take a “pro-active” approach to fighting crime. Said County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, “ust in case the layoffs have some kind of an impact, we want to address it and make sure the criminals know our army is still bigger than yours.”