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City of Newark Police Division
Monday November 20th, 2017 :: 03:36 p.m. EST


Newark Police Division Awarded $700K SMART Policing Grant Launching Geographical Community Focus Program

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose report that the Newark Police Division has received a $700,000.00 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice as part of its SMART Policing Initiative (SPI).

SMART Policing is based on an acronym that stands for “strategically managed, analysis, research driven and technology based” law enforcement activities. Applying this initiative will aid the NPD in its effort toward reducing crime and strengthening community partnerships. The grant will support collaboration between police and researchers in 39 communities to address gun violence, narcotics sales, domestic violence and issues affecting chronic violent offenders. SPI encourages innovative use of analysis, technology and evidence-based practices, while seeking community input on ways to improve policing practices and increase transparency, accountability and legitimacy.

“This initiative is another giant step forward in our strategy to include the latest technological resources toward increasing community involvement in reducing crime,” Mayor Baraka said. “Funding that gives Newarkers a voice in the policing of their neighborhoods, coupled with technological tools and data that fine tunes our efforts, is a tremendous gift to the City of Newark and we plan to make full use of it in strengthening police and community partnerships.”

“First, I thank Attorney General Jefferson Sessions for awarding us this substantial grant,” Director Ambrose said. “We are honored to be among only four law enforcement agencies nationwide to be named recipients of SMART Policing grant by the Department of Justice,” he added. “This award is a tremendous acknowledgement to the men and women of the Newark Police Division who work so hard to meet our crime reduction goals and to establish collaborative partnerships with the community.”

The grant will primarily be used to enhance our abilities through technological advancement and enhancements, including the expansion and upgrading of surveillance cameras and monitoring systems to enhance the coverage of our citizens’ virtual patrol initiative, which we will begin testing later this year. This program enables citizens to monitor our surveillance cameras and act as additional eyes and ears to law enforcement.

This grant will also enable us to provide the officers assigned to a particular area with cellphones that offer instantaneous access to police databases and informational systems.

In addition, the grant will also be used to purchase predictive software that will assist the department with analyzing and predicting likely locations where crime might occur. There will also be expansions and upgrades to our existing ShotSpotter and (ALPR) Automated License Plate Recognition Systems.

ShotSpotter is a gun detection software system that instantly detects gunfire and results in immediate police responses. ALPR analyzes license plate information and can help identify and locate cars or cars known or suspected of being involved in criminal activity.

Further, the grant will assist in the implementation of a new Geographical Community Focus (GCF) Program in the City’s South Ward. The GCF program will integrate the concepts of community and problem-oriented policing, resource deployment, technology, strategies and accountability systems to increase cooperation and trust between the police and the community. GCF is a focused approach of empowerment, accountability, guardianship and community and police “ownership” in identified smaller areas.

Researchers from Rutgers University will measure the plan’s effectiveness based on crime reduction and increased community engagement. After assessing the 5th Precinct’s results, the SMART Policing program will be rolled out citywide.

Director Ambrose stated, “This initiative is starting in the City’s South Ward after thorough analysis of crime and citizen complaint data. The initiative will primarily focus on an area south of Avon Avenue and North of Bergen Street. The GCF initiative will be replicated and expanded into the City’s other wards also using the same factors in the upcoming months.”

City of Newark Police Division
480 Clinton Ave
Newark, NJ 07108

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 973-733-6000

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