Trenton Steps Up Police Patrols To Curb Violence - KMSP-TV

Trenton Steps Up Police Patrols To Curb Violence

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Trenton, N.J.- New Jersey’s Acting Attorney General announced are beefing up patrols in some of the most violent parts of Trenton.

This comes on the heels of a shooting of a young girl earlier this week.

We’re told that 9-year-old girl is expected to be released from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Wednesday.

Law enforcement said they’ve had success with this kind of program before and this time they’re taking it to another level.

“If the gangsters and drug dealers of Trenton think nothing of cutting down a child with indiscriminate gun fire, then they better start thinking twice about the full force of the law that will be bearing down upon them this summer," Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said.

Hoffman hopes to send a clear message to criminals terrorizing Trenton, by adding forces to their police department.

On Monday, a 9-year-old girl got caught in the crossfire during a shooting on Bellevue Avenue.

“While she was running down the street to get help, that gunman shot her again and that’s when she fell down," witness Victoria Williams said.

Family friend Anthony Robbins said the young girl is getting better.

“Her mother says she’s doing just fine. She’s sitting up talking and eating and everything," he said.

Three weeks earlier, investigators said a shooting at Galilee Baptist Church for the funeral of gang member Cagney Roberts, wounded three people.

The church pastor’s sister said the congregation is recovering.

“My brother is a very strong individual and the membership tends to take on the personality of the pastor, so they’re really doing well," Rev. Lillian Moore said.

In an effort to prevent a repeat of the past few weeks, Hoffman said they’re doubling patrols this summer and launching the Warrant Squad, aimed at rounding up wanted criminals.

“They’ll sell drugs right in front of your kids. They’ll shoot you down right in front, these people don’t care no more, it’s dangerous," Williams said.

“We can’t live like this, we just can’t. I mean we are hostage in our own city," Moore said.

“We share the abiding believe and are driven by the abiding belief that the people of Trenton have the right not to live in fear," Deputy US Attorney Nelson Thayer said.

Hoffman said they utilized the TIDE-TAG anti-violence initiative last August and said they cut murders in half during the first two months.

Some residents aren’t completely sold.

"They said that when Doug Palmer was the mayor, they said when (Carmen) Armenti was the mayor, they said that when (Arthur) Holland was the mayor. You don’t see no police walking these streets," Robbins said.

“They’ve been announcing a long time. We need less announcing and more performance," Moore said.

Police conceded the added man power won’t help without support from everyone.

“We are not going to improve this community and not stop the violence in this community unless we have the participation of all the great citizens of this city," Trenton Police Director Ralph Rivera said.

Police have arrested four people in connection to the funeral shooting last month.

The prosecutor’s office said they’re making rapid progress in the case where the 9-year-old was wounded.

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