Newark police and city officials say their de-escalation training program is working and that no officer fired his weapon while on duty in 2020.
The New Jersey police force faced enormous challenges this year, with officers exposed to COVID-19 while on the job and protests against police brutality of the summer took their toll.
Regardless, says Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose, staff used their de-escalation training to keep the peace.
Ambrosio said in a statement: “Our officers… are actively using this resource when interacting with the community.
“Our training also played a very important role in keeping Newark from violence during this year’s protests over the murder of George Floyd. The community and the police worked together to ensure that non-residents of Newark, who came here to protest, did not initiate any violence in our city. “
Overall crime was also down 6% in the city in 2020, and police officers recovered 496 illegal firearms – a 7% increase from last year, when officers seized 461 illegal weapons in 303 arrests.
“Removing 496 illegal firearms from our streets equates to at least 496 fewer victims of violence and fewer funerals,” Ambrose said.
In 2020, not a single officer in Newark fired his weapon while on duty, a notable milestone. De-escalation training is proven and effective. Along with 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 broader trend as de-escalation training programs are rolled out to other police forces across the country.
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