The Newark Metro Division was created in August 2012 to create an increased police presence in the downtown Newark area. The officers work out of 189 Market Street. The area comprises 0.35 square miles. At inception, 6 officers were assigned to work the area. In 2016, 16 officers were assigned to work 7 days a week from 8am to midnight.
The Metro Division’s leadership has strong partnerships with many local businesses in the downtown area, which has contributed to the large decreases in crime. Additionally, based on consistent analysis of crimes and known offenders, the officers are able to conduct targeted patrols. They also work closely with the Newark Downtown District’s Security Ambassadors who are commonly seen wearing yellow polo shirts. The security ambassadors attend daily rollcalls with the officers.
Citywide, from 2015 to 2016 there was a 13% overall crime reduction. In the Metro Division, there was a 35% reduction in overall crime from 2015 to 2016. Robbery decreased 21% in the rest of Newark, while in the Metro Division, robbery decreased 52% from 2015 to 2016. While burglary numbers dropped in the rest of Newark, burglaries in the Metro Division have increased. One issue that likely contributes to the higher burglary numbers is that the Metro Division does not have a 24-hour operation. They do not patrol from midnight to 8am, which is when most of their burglaries occur.
The two maps included display the locations of violent and property crime in 2016. Both violent and property crime are very concentrated at the Broad St/Market St intersection. Additionally, property crime is also concentrated along Broad St.
Though the Metro Division consistently analyzes crimes and offenders to better inform their operations, a number of initiatives aided in the crime reductions this year. Three narcotics operations were conducted during the summer that resulted in a number of arrests and the confiscation of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and prescription pills. A warrant roundup in the downtown area also resulted in numerous arrests. The Community Focus Division has recently begun assigning officers to walking posts along Broad St. Officers work from 2pm to 10pm and are tasked with engaging the community. Rather than focusing on arrests, these officers conduct business checks and interact with citizens in an effort to promote a positive police/community relationship.
Even with the large decreases in crime, the Metro Division hopes to do more in 2017 to decrease crime and improve the look and feel of the downtown area. If given more officers the aim is to make the Metro Division a 24/7 operation which should result in a reduction in burglaries and other crimes. Additionally, the Metro Division is continuing a partnership with the Newark Downtown District. The Newark Downtown District provides the Security Ambassadors and works to make downtown Newark more viable place to work and live.