Newark Sees Switch Up In Public Safety Director, Multiple City Department Roles

When TAPinto Newark reached the mayor’s office for comment on the changes in the public safety directorial role, Baraka said in a written response that the city “needed an individual to step up the city’s efforts to reduce crime by focusing on developing strategies to reimagine public safety, help formulate policies, procedures for all public safety projects undertaken by the Police Division and the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery.”

“Additionally, we needed an individual who will work in coordinating all agencies in and around Newark (including FBI, U.S. Attorney General’s Office, [Essex] County Sheriff’s Office) to collaboratively work together to fight crime,” the mayor said in his response to TAPinto Newark.

Baraka noted that O’Hara, who joined the force as a police officer in 2001 and served as the commanding officer of the Accountability, Engagement and Oversight Bureau of the city’s consent decree, has had a “distinguished career,” making him the right choice as Newark’s first deputy mayor of public safety.

Upon announcement of O’Hara’s appointment to the new deputy mayoral role, he commended the mayor for the decision.

“We have the lowest number of shooting victims since 2007 when we began recording this data, a record number of illegal firearms recovered again this year. This is progress,” O’Hara told TAPinto Newark. “I am honored to be promoted by the mayor into this critical role, continuing the progress, and am looking forward to carrying out Mayor Baraka’s vision of taking Newark Public Safety to an even higher level.”

The Newark Public Safety Department also saw the appointment of a new acting police chief. Baraka announced that Emanuel “Manny” Miranda was appointed to the role, having served 21 years on the force. Miranda will succeed Chief Lee Douglas, who is retiring from the Police Division after 25 years of service.

City Hall will also see new faces in multiple department directorial roles.

As Baraka enters his third mayoral term, he appointed new directors and acting directors in five departments: Engineering, Office of Emergency Management, Health and Community Wellness, Alcohol Beverage Control Unit of the Department of Public Safety, and Recreation, Cultural Affairs, and Senior Services.

Dolores Martinez-Wooden was appointed acting director of Engineering; Former South Ward Councilman John Sharpe James was appointed director of the Office of Emergency Management, replacing Dorian Herrell, who is retiring; Ketlen Baptiste-Alsbrook was appointed acting director of the Department of Health and Community Wellness; David Whatley was appointed director of Alcohol Beverage Control Unit of the Department of Public Safety; and Donnell Redding was appointed acting director of Recreation, Cultural Affairs, and Senior Services. He replaces Patrick Council, the newly-elected South Ward councilman.

When TAPinto reached the mayor’s office for comment on the changes to the various department leadership roles, Crystal Rosa, city senior press secretary, said the mayor “made changes in this term based on what we think we need to continue to move Newark forward.

“Every administration in a new term makes changes to bring in new perspectives and fresh ideas,” Rosa told TAPinto Newark.

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published this page in News and Politics 2022-07-09 03:15:43 -0700