Police in Newark and Camden, N.J., made nearly 7,700 fewer arrests last year than in 2010 as violent crime rose during the same period in the wake of some of the largest police layoffs in New Jersey history, reports the Newark Star-Ledger. While many had suggested the layoffs would result in surges in violent crime, the trend actually began at least a year before the first officers were handed pink slips.
After looming budget deficits forced the two cities to lay off more than 160 cops each, the combined number of arrests fell to 25,012 last year from 32,703 in 2010. Camden's arrest rate dropped 43 percent last year from 2010, while Newark's dropped by 16 percent. The arrest rate has fallen for the past three years in Newark and for the past two in Camden. At the same time, the number of shootings, homicides, and robberies rose over the same period in both cities. Prof. Wayne Fisher of the Rutgers Police Institute said it is clear that reductions in police manpower will have consequences. “These numbers are evidence that those consequences have in fact taken place,” he said.