Newark police and city officials say their de-escalation training program is working, with not one officer firing his or her weapon while on duty in 2020.
The New Jersey police force faced huge challenges this year, with officers being exposed to COVID-19 while out working and the anti-police brutality protests of summertime taking its toll.
Through it all, says Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose, staff utilized their de-escalation training to keep the peace.
Ambrose said in a statement: “Our officers… are actively employing this resource when engaging with the community.
“Our training also played a huge role in Newark having zero violence during this year’s protests of the murder of George Floyd. The community and police worked together to ensure that non-Newark residents, who came here to protest, didn’t initiate any violence in our City.”
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Overall crime was also down 6% in the city in 2020, with police officers recovering 496 illegal firearms: a 7% increase over last year, when officers took 461 illegal weapons in 303 arrests.
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“Removing 496 illegal firearms from our streets equals at least 496 fewer victims of violence and fewer funerals,” Ambrose said.
In 2020, not a single officer in Newark fired his or her weapon while on duty – a remarkable milestone. De-escalation training is proven and effective.
Alongside our new use-of-force policy, we are building a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all. https://t.co/sI9WWvpqjP
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) January 3, 2021
This hopeful news could be part of a larger trend as de-escalation training programs roll out in other police forces across the country.
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