Baraka to announce new 'pioneering' public safety changes on Monday

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on January 03, 2016

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Police Chief Anthony Campos are pictured here in a file photo. The two are scheduled to announce additional details about the city's new public safety department at a press conference Monday morning.

 

NEWARK – Mayor Ras Baraka is set to announce additional changes to the city's approach to public safety at a press conference Monday morning.

Baraka is scheduled to be joined by Police Chief Anthony Campos during the 11:30 a.m. event at City Hall, officials said today.

Few details were offered about the nature of the announcement. An advisory stated only that the "pioneering" changes will affect "both the internal operations and external relations" of the city's new public safety department.

Baraka revealed late last month that he had tapped Anthony Ambrose, a former Newark police director and chief who joined the Essex County Prosecutor's Office as chief of investigators in 2008, as the city's first public safety director.

Ambrose currently holds the position under an acting tag, though the Municipal Council is expected to approve the official formation of the new department as early as Wednesday.

During his announcement, Baraka said the move is intended to reduce burdensome bureaucracy in the police, fire and emergency management operations, freeing up both new funds and additional officers to work the city's troubled streets.

Though offenses such as burglary, theft and auto theft declined significantly, officials have conceded that Newark struggled with violent crime in 2015. In all, it recorded 105 homicides – 12 more than in 2014 – and shootings rose more than 15 percent, according to police statistics.

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