The struggle for public safety is multifaceted but must begin with addressing the record levels of gun violence in our communities. As Councilman, my most urgent charge will be removing guns and repeat violent offenders from the streets. Here's how that will happen with me as Councilman:
Establish a Group Violence Reduction Strategy
In our hardest-hit neighborhoods, residents should not feel terrorized by what police term "violent criminal networks," which seemingly occupy communities. Under my direct leadership, we will identify violent criminal networks and remove them from our neighborhoods through consistent, targeted pressure, and coordinated information sharing with our law enforcement agencies. Cities that have implemented a group violence reduction strategy have seen significant gun violence reductions.
Target Gun Traffickers and Straw Purchasers
If we aim to reduce gun violence in Trenton, we must stop the flow of illegal guns into our communities. As Councilman, I will support unlawful gun traffickers' target and straw purchasers-they funnel unlawful firearms into the city. By establishing partnerships between the Trenton Police Department, our neighboring jurisdictions, and other federal agencies like the ATF and FBI will ensure people who illegally bring guns into our city are better held accountable.
Track Illegal Guns and Ammunition
We must get illegal guns off the streets through enforcement and prosecution. But if we don't know who is making illegal guns and ammunition available on our roads, we will not solve this problem. As Councilman, I will support increasing our commitment to tracking firearms and ammunition used in crimes to their origin. I will also foster our relationships with state, regional, and federal law enforcement partners.
Conviction Assurance: Track Gun Case Outcomes
When gun cases get dropped because of unconstitutional policing or investigative practices, people who committed violent crimes can end up back on the streets. As Councilman, I will propose a data-driven and analytical approach to criminal justice issues. If unconstitutional policing or bad investigative work leads to dropped cases, we should know and be prepared to take action to confront it. I will also increase funding to implement a crime analyst program with the State's Attorney's Office to review all crime and violent repeat offenders cases. This data will improve our case preparation to ensure cases have a higher probability of being successfully prosecuted and appropriately sentenced.
Additionally, I will support the Trenton Police Department's requirement to step up training on constitutional search-and-seizure practices, interrogation, and report writing so that no case is dropped because a police officer failed to act under the law.
Address Intimate Partner Violence
To reduce violent crime, we must understand the role that intimate partner violence plays. Domestic violence accounts for 21% of all violent crime, with most incidents involving private partners. When guns are present in these situations, there is a 500% greater chance that the event turns deadly. As a city, we have to create a safety net for survivors in collaboration with the prosecution, rehabilitation, and enforcement. As Councilman, I will work with service providers, public health institutions, the Trenton Police Department's Sheriff's Office, and State's Attorney's Office to address intimate partner violence sensitively. My team and I will work in partnership with community partners and push service providers to establish the Capital City Area Family Justice Center to bring providers, city agencies, and law enforcement officials under one roof. This center would offer comprehensive services from immigration advice to resources for survivors.