New Jersey’s top law enforcement official didn’t mince words Thursday as he outlined the latest state strategy to combat deadly violence plaguing Trenton.
“Identify Trenton’s gang members and would-be gang members and present them with one simple and clear choice — prison or an exit strategy from the hell that they have created for themselves and all of the others around them,” said acting Attorney General John Hoffman at a news conference outside the city police department.
Since an intensive law enforcement push, including the deployment of state police, began in August, Hoffman said the capital city’s murder rate has fallen by 57 percent.
He said those efforts will continue, and a new violence-reduction strategy will provide more than $1 million over the next three years to send outreach workers into high-crime areas to offer counseling and job training.
“If you want help, we will help you. In fact we will bend over backward to help you,” Hoffman said. “If you want to continue to wage war on the streets of Trenton, we will come at you with everything that we have got.”
The new approach will include added patrols, improved lighting, and closed-circuit cameras in high-risk areas. Regulatory authorities will go after businesses that attract criminal activity.