JERSEY CITY â€“ Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and Police Chief Thomas Comey announced today that homicides last year dropped to a more than four-decade low as crime trends continue to decline year after year in New Jerseyâ€™s second largest city.Â
In 2012, there were 13 homicides in Jersey City, which is five fewer than 2011 representing a 28 percent drop. The 13 homicides is the lowest total number of homicides in Jersey City since 1969, as confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and New Jersey State Police who are responsible for all police statistics to form the Uniform Crime Report, an annual analysis of crime trends across the country.
In 1969, there were 33 homicides in Jersey City, a time when Richard M. Nixon was president of the United States, American troops were fighting the Vietnam War and American Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to land on the Moon. The peak in homicides was in 1979, when there were 49 homicides in one year.
â€œWe are obviously pleased when we see decreases in any crime category, but especially in the category of homicides where lives are lost needlessly,â€ said Mayor Healy. â€œHowever, each and every single homicide is one homicide too many in our city, and I know the brave men and women of our police department will continue to work diligently to keep the trend in a declining pattern.â€
Last yearâ€™s sharp decrease was paralleled by a significant effort to reduce street violence, which police officials attribute to their pro-active police measures that included major sting operations that targeted wanted felons, open air drug markets and repeat offenders linked to the illegal drug trade. Partnering with law enforcement agencies from the county, state and federal level has also contributed greatly to the decrease in homicides. An example of this collaboration is Operation Summer
These efforts were supplemented by a series of gun buyback initiatives in 2005, 2011 and 2012 that led to a total of 1,297 weapons collectively being removed from city streets.
â€œAs the criminal element has become more and more creative, letâ€™s say, in their efforts to sell illegal drugs and use handguns to protect their trade, weâ€™ve had to do things differently to offset their success, to which we believe has had a direct impact on the number of homicides in our community,â€ said Police Chief Comey.