Murders in NJ down for third straight year

    The 332 homicides in the Garden State this year represent a 10% drop from last year.

    The total number of murders in New Jersey is down for a third straight year.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091229pgcrime.mp3]

    The 332 homicides in the Garden State this year represent a 10% drop from last year. And it’s the first time reported murders are down three years in a row since 1999.

    Jose Cordero, the statewide director of law enforcement in the Attorney General’s office, says much of the decline is a result of refocusing the war on drugs to a war on violence.

    Cordero: Oftentimes violence is associated with drug dealing and gang activity. Instead of going after investigations that put powder on the table, money on the table, we’re putting guns on tables and we’re measuring our success by the number of lives that are saved and the number of murders that are prevented.

    Cordero says as more law enforcement agencies in the state focus on gangs and others they know commit violent acts, they should be more successful in reducing the murder rate.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.