TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Director Steve Wilson today provided an update on crime throughout the City of Trenton in rebuttal to misinformation propagated by members of City Council during their combined session on Thursday, August 4.
“I am proud of the work the Department has been doing this year, and I am especially proud of my officers on the ground who make Trenton safer every day for residents, business owners and visitors,” Director Wilson said. “The information shared by some members of Council last night was dangerously inaccurate, but I am glad to correct the record and share the successes of the Trenton Police Department with the public.”
Wilson specifically cited information shared by Council members Sonya Wilkins, Robin Vaughn, and Kathy McBride as “just plain wrong.” At Thursday’s meeting, Councilwoman Vaughn referenced “carnage in the streets,” and Council President McBride referenced nine shootings that took place on Oliver Avenue or Olive Street. Police collected no evidence of any such series of shootings from ShotSpotter and there were no reports of any such event, though Director Wilson encourages the Council President to contact TPD with any evidence she may have of the “shootout” she described in her civic comments.
Further, Councilwoman Wilkins suggested that crime statistics are not shared with the public and that “no one is saying anything” about the previously mentioned (aforementioned) crimes. The Councilwoman stated that “there is so much crime that is running rampant,” while in truth, crime rates are trending down.
Currently the City of Trenton has a 46% decrease in shooting homicides, year to date, overall homicides have a decrease of 20% year to date compared to the same time period last year. For the 28-day period ending July 31, 2022, there was a 100% decrease in shooting homicides, as there were zero during that time compared to six during the same period in 2021. Similarly, the total number of shooting victims was down 50% during that time and total shooting incidents were down 45%. From January 1, 2022 to July 15, 2022 gun recoveries are up 31% as compared to the same time period last year totaling 136 guns.
Clearance rates, meanwhile, are up, with a 32% total clearance rate for shootings where an individual was hit for the year to date and a 46% clearance rate for shootings where an individual was not hit. This is higher than the national average of 25-30% and significantly higher than the 13% total clearance rate for a similar time period in 2021.
“One shooting, of course, is still too many. But the data show that the homicide rate is trending down in the City, and I can assure members of Council and the public that the Trenton Police Department is transparent and accurate with our reporting,” Director Wilson added. “Our best asset, though, is the public themselves, and if you see something, please call us and say something. This includes our elected leaders – if they have information concerning a crime that has taken place, please call me and let me know.”
-Trenton Police Director Steve Wilson, File photo by: Brian McCarthy
Stafford Township, NJ – Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ-03) joined the Stafford Police Department, Bright Harbor Health Care, and seven area police departments to highlight the On P.O.I.N.T. program, which provides on-site social workers for police departments to address the high volume of mental health, substance abuse, and social service-related calls and incidents that police receive. Booker and Kim secured $32,000 in congressionally directed funding to expand the On P.O.I.N.T. program this year.
Since its establishment in 2016, On P.O.I.N.T. has expanded to include nine total police departments. The program provides early intervention by diverting individuals experiencing mental health crises from the criminal justice system into the appropriate health care system. During the meeting, Booker and Kim discussed the challenges that police departments and medical providers have faced while responding to these incidents and the success of the innovative program.
“As law enforcement officers have often told me, police departments are overburdened responding to distressful calls that involve issues related to mental illness, addiction, or poverty,” said Sen. Booker. “Appropriately addressing these challenges requires the expertise of social workers, medical professionals, and mental health experts. With the On P.O.I.N.T program, police departments are receiving the support they need to help the most vulnerable. I am proud to have fought alongside Rep. Any Kim for funding to expand this vital initiative and was grateful to hear from stakeholders today about their experiences implementing and using the program.”
“Our police officers are the first ones to answer the call when we are in danger and it’s up to us to make sure they have the resources they need to continue doing this important work,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “I’m proud to have worked with Senator Booker to secure funding for Stafford Police Department to expand their successful and innovative On P.O.I.N.T. partnership with Bright Harbor Healthcare to include Barnegat Police Department. Together, our local police and mental health professionals are improving outcomes, reducing violence, having safer interactions, and improving community relations.”
“There has been a gap between how law enforcement and the mental health and substance use treatment systems have interacted with each other—we both try to help the same community members, however we have often not communicated with each other or worked in concert,” said Meghan Corrigan, co-creator of the On P.O.I.N.T. at Bright Harbor Healthcare. “The On P.O.I.N.T. program was intentionally designed to address the gap between law enforcement’s initial observation and triage of a crisis to long term treatment and support to resolve the underlying cause of the crisis.”
“I thank both Senator Booker and Congressman Kim for their continued support of the On P.O.I.N.T. program,” said Thomas Dellane, Stafford Township Police Chief. “Their advocacy on behalf of the program has enabled On P.O.I.N.T. staff to effectuate positive change in many people’s lives thereby improving the mental and physical health of communities that On P.O.I.N.T. serves.”
Today’s event was part of Booker’s 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip, a series of stops highlighting the priorities he continues to fight for in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the state’s residents. The road trip will focus on Booker’s ongoing commitment to serving New Jersey’s veterans, his efforts to secure congressionally directed spending for critical New Jersey projects and organizations, and his support of local businesses and industries, and much more.
CAPE MAY, NJ –Today, as part of his 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined stakeholders and local elected officials for a tour of the Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey in Cape May.
The Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey opened their doors on Juneteenth 2021 and features artifacts and art from Harriet Tubman’s time in New Jersey when she worked as a cook in a Cape May hotel and raised funds to rescue enslaved people. The museum also highlights the history of Cape May as a crucial stop on the Underground Railroad and a center of abolitionist activity.
“Harriet Tubman is a personal hero of mine and was a harbinger of hope for many,” said Sen. Booker. “Even after securing her own freedom, Tubman led hundreds of other people held as slaves out of bondage, a testament to her unfathomable courage and righteous calling. I am proud to see her incredible life memorialized at this museum and am grateful for the stakeholders and members of the community who led a grassroots effort to preserve the rich history of the African American community in Cape May and New Jersey’s legacy as a beacon of freedom.”
“Senator Booker has been an important supporter of the Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey since its inception,” said Cynthia Mullock, Executive Director of the Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey. “Considering his own inspiring advocacy for issues of social justice and human dignity, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to share Harriet Tubman’s time in Cape May, the narratives of the abolitionist community who supported her, and our “small museum with a big story” with him today.”
Booker’s 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip features a series of events spanning the Garden State that will highlight the priorities he continues to fight for in the Senate on behalf of state residents.
LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 8, 2022, John Madden, 43, of Little Egg Harbor Township, pled guilty to Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1, as well as Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, in connection with an incident that occurred in Long Beach Township on April 8, 2020. Madden also pled guilty to an unrelated charge of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(a), in connection with an incident that occurred in Little Egg Harbor on April 4, 2020. At the time of his sentencing on September 30, 2022, the State will be seeking a term of three years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) with respect to the Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident charge, and 18 months NJSP as to the charge of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. The sentences are to run concurrently.
On April 8, 2020, Officers from the Long Beach Township Police Department were summoned to the area of Long Beach Boulevard for a report of a hit-and-run involving serious injuries to a bicyclist. An investigation by the Long Beach Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that Daniel Bogacz, 63, of Beach Haven, was riding his bicycle northbound on Long Beach Boulevard when he was struck by a 2020 Jeep Liberty, also traveling northbound. The Jeep Liberty did not stop to render aid, but instead made a U-turn and accelerated past the injured victim. Mr. Boaz was air-lifted to Atlantic City Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries and later released.
Further investigation revealed that Madden was, in fact, the driver of the Jeep Liberty. Madden was arrested at his residence in Little Egg Harbor on April 8, 2020 without incident. He was initially transported to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford Township where a blood draw was taken from Madden pursuant to a court-authorized warrant. He was thereafter transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.
Laboratory results of Madden’s blood draw – received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in the course of the investigation – revealed his Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) to be .245 percent. In the State of New Jersey, an operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption where his/her BAC is .08 or greater.
On April 4, 2020, Officers from the Little Egg Harbor Police Department were summoned to a convenience store on Mathis town Road for a report of a shoplifter. Responding Officers determined that the manager of the store witnessed Madden shoplifting and confronted him. The manager of the store asked an off-duty New Jersey State Park Police Officer – who happened to be at the convenience store and was in uniform at the time – for assistance. As the off-duty officer attempted to detain Madden, he pushed the officer in an attempt to get away. The officer was able to detain Madden until Little Egg Harbor Police arrived. Madden was arrested and transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Long Beach Township Police Department, Harvey Cedars Police Department, Surf City Police Department, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, Ship Bottom Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their efforts and assistance in connection with these investigations leading to Madden’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and soon his state prison sentence.
A co-owner of multiple businesses today admitted to his role failing to pay over $1 million in payroll taxes for his companies, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Omar Mostafa, 57, of Morganville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Georgette Castner to an information charging him with willful failure to collect or pay taxes.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From 2016 through 2018, Mostafa co-owned three companies that operated in New Jersey and New York and was responsible for signing and causing to be filed the companies’ tax returns with the IRS. During those tax years, Mostafa substantially underreported each company’s payroll, causing a total tax loss to the IRS of approximately $1.4 million.
The count of failing to collect, account for, and pay employment taxes is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy L. Tomlins, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fatime Meka Cano of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
Murphy Administration Allocates American Recovery Plan Funds to Continue Innovative Programming First Launched in January 2020
August 8, 2022
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced the allocation of $10 million in federal American Recovery Plan (ARP) funds to continue funding for the State’s Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPs), which directly help gun violence victims and serve to break the cycle of gun violence.
In January 2020, the Murphy Administration and the Attorney General’s Office awarded $20 million in federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) dollars to fund nine HVIPs across New Jersey to reach victims of gun violence and others touched by violence at the time of crisis. These programs are considered by experts and practitioners to be one of the crucial strategies for violence intervention and prevention services and established New Jersey as a national leader in stemming gun violence. A primary goal of the HVIP is to link hospitals with community-based organizations that are already working hard to assist victims and prevent the spread of violence.
By partnering with community organizations to provide services to victims and families in hospitals following a shooting, the program has shown an ability to reduce the cycle of gun violence when retaliation is most likely to occur and spread. When the $20 million in competitive federal VOCA funding was announced, selected hospitals received two years of HVIP funding, some of which the hospitals sub-awarded to community-based providers in their areas to help directly deliver services to those impacted by gun violence. At the end of the two-year grant period, the Attorney General’s Office made available a third year of VOCA funding in the amount of $10.3 million.
Building on the success of this program and to further develop and strengthen a community-based approach to public safety, in 2021 Governor Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office announced the creation of an entirely new grant program to meaningfully expand violence intervention work in New Jersey, announcing $10 million in state funding to establish Community-Based Violence Intervention Programs (CBVIs). Currently, CBVI grants directly fund more than 20 community organizations in 15 municipalities covering every region of the State, supporting intervention strategies that help communities reduce homicides and shootings by developing healing relationships among the groups and individuals who are at the center of gun violence.
During this time, the AG’s Office learned of an upcoming decrease in federal VOCA funds that would also support HVIPs and worked with the Murphy Administration to identify alternative sources of funding. The federal ARP funds will provide this alternative funding source for the HVIP program for at least another 12 months after the VOCA funds are expended. Further details on this competitive program will be made available in the upcoming months.
“Earlier this year, I signed my comprehensive Gun Safety 3.0 package, which strengthened gun laws across our state, bringing us one step closer to a stronger, fairer, and safer New Jersey. Today’s continued funding of the Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program is another step toward that reality,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud of the work that this Administration has done thus far and am committed to continuing to address the gun violence epidemic our State is facing.”
“Make no mistake – this investment in our HVIP initiative will save lives,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “Thanks to the Governor’s leadership, New Jersey will continue its groundbreaking efforts in violence intervention programming by disrupting cycles of violence before they start. I applaud the challenging, but essential, work of our hospital and community partners and will continue to champion these programs as Attorney General.”
“Thank you to the Governor, the Acting Attorney General, and their teams for their fast action and continued support,” said Aqeela Sherrills, Executive Director of the Community-Based Public Safety Collective. “Thanks to the New Jersey Violence Intervention and Prevention Coalition for their lifesaving work. We look forward to continued partnership with the Attorney General’s Office to advance community-based public safety in New Jersey.”
“It is reassuring that the Governor and his team have made the necessary investment to keep existing Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs operable for the rest of the year,” said Will Simpson of the New Jersey Violence Intervention and Prevention Coalition. “The NJVIPC will support any and all efforts to establish more expansive, long-term funding for a community-centered public safety ecosystem. We are looking forward to having more consistent and transparent communication with the Office of the Attorney General and the Murphy Administration to ensure the needs of the community are being heard and met.”
“The Paterson Healing Collective is pleased to learn that the Governor has heard our calls to action so that we can keep doing the life-changing and life-saving work we have been doing for the last two years,” said Dr. Liza Chowdhury, Director of the Paterson Healing Collective. “Our survivors and community members rely on our services and we could not afford to lose the resources that positively impact their lives. We look forward to continued efforts to sustain HVIPs and CVI programs in the future.”
“As a gun violence survivor, I know the importance of the work,” said Pam Johnson, Executive Director of the Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition. “From a personal standpoint and a professional standpoint, I know that with this investment we can save more lives and do more healing.”
“I am grateful to the Murphy Administration and the Attorney General’s Office for finding the resources to maintain these powerful community led programs,” said Rev. Dr. Charles F. Boyer, Founding Director, Salvation and Social Justice. “I never doubted their commitment to this work. These programs are critical for putting the public back in public safety.”
“We applaud the Attorney General’s Office for addressing the urgent need to support the work of hospital and community-based violence intervention programs in New Jersey,” said Joe Kim, Associate Director, Training and Technical Assistance at The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention. “As the lead technical assistance agency for the HVIPs across NJ, the HAVI is committed to the ongoing work of ensuring that victims of violence are given the resources and supports they need to heal from trauma and break cycles of violence. We are proud to stand with our community and hospital partners to ensure these services are sustainable for years to come.”
“Revive South Jersey understands the importance of providing services to victims of gun violence and then working proactively to prevent future victimizations,” said Jonathan Cummings, Executive Director of Revive South Jersey. “As a South Jersey stakeholder that has been partnering with the Bridgeton Police Athletic league for the last five years, we understand the necessity of this work in our community. The investment in the HVIP will provide critical support to continuing the vital service of working to prevent gun violence in the state.”
“One of our team members has served over 200 victims of violence at University Hospital’s HVIP, preventing retaliation and repeat victimization. We are grateful that she and the rest of the team will continue to serve victims uninterrupted.” –Statement from the Newark Community Street Team.
The initial $20 million VOCA investment along with the additional third year of VOCA funding in HVIP grants were awarded to the following hospitals:
Center for Family Services, City of Camden, Camden County Trinitas Health Foundation, Elizabeth, Union County AtlantiCare Atlantic City, Atlantic County Capital Health, Trenton, Mercer County Jersey City Medical Center (RWJBarnabas), Jersey City, Hudson County Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick (Serving Middlesex, Somerset and Union Counties) University Hospital, Newark, Essex County Jersey Shore University Medical Center/Hackensack Meridian, Monmouth County (Focusing on Asbury Park, Neptune Township and Long Branch City) St. Joseph’s Health, Paterson, Passaic County
EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–East Windsor Township celebrated “National Night Out” on August 2, at the East Windsor P.A.L. complex, which featured crime watch information, fire and EMS equipment displays, games and activities, and over 60 organization and business booths. The event, hosted by Mayor Janice Mironov and Council Members and Chief of Police James Geary and the police department and attended by well over 2,000 people, was to demonstrate the commitment of East Windsor Township to promoting a cooperative partnership among police, local government officials and citizens to vigilance and crime prevention throughout the East Windsor community.
Mayor Mironov issued a Mayoral Proclamation which was presented to the Neighborhood Crime Watch members, reading “National Night Out Against Crime is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and foremost send a strong message to criminals letting them that the community and police have joined together in fighting crime.”
The many fun and educational activities at National Night Out included demonstrations by canine trained in detecting illegal drugs, child car safety seat inspections and police car tours, as well as fire hose demonstrations, climbing obstacle course, inflatable games, face painting and air brush tattoos, plus music and refreshments. Community groups and area businesses hosted booths with information and giveaways supporting the National Night Out theme.
Mayor Mironov stated, “National Night Out was a tremendous community success and we thank our police department, our volunteer fire company and rescue squad volunteers, and the many businesses and organizations for their support and participation in helping to make East Windsor’s National Night Out such an outstanding event.”
Mayor Janice S. Mironov presents Proclamation for 2022 “National Night Out” to East Windsor Neighborhood Crime Watch members during the event held at the East Windsor P.A.L. complex. Pictured (from left to right) are: Neighborhood Crime Watch Member Wayne Varga; Neighborhood Crime Watch Member Joseph Lamagna; Neighborhood Crime Watch Member Mindy Gerber; Neighborhood Crime Watch Member Richard LaBone; Neighborhood Crime Watch Chairperson Vincent Citarella; Council Member John Zoller; Mayor Janice S. Mironov; Council Member David Russell; Police Lieutenant Ryan Mattek; Police Chief James Geary; Council Member Marc Lippman; Deputy Mayor Peter Yeager, and Council Member Alan Rosenberg.
185 reported cases in New Jersey of Monkeypox. Mercer County has five (5) reported cases as of August 4, 2022. Within Mercer County, one case has been recorded in Trenton, the remaining cases reported in Hamilton and Hopewell.
August 8, 2022
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora, today, announced an emergency council meeting to discuss the City’s monkeypox and Covid preparation response and the need to dedicate resources to ensure residents are protected. The meeting will take place on Friday, August 12, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
The Biden Administration has declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a public health emergency. Since mid-May, there have been over 6,000 confirmed cases in the United States. Moreover, there are more than 1,500 cases in New York and 185 reported cases in New Jersey. Mercer County has five (5) reported cases as of August 4, 21022. Within Mercer County, one case has been recorded in Trenton, the remaining cases reported in Hamilton and Hopewell.
Last week, Council President Kathy McBride blocked an attempt by Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson to bring the measure to a vote. McBride tried to block Caldwell-Wilson from even mentioning the subject of the resolution.
“It is disappointing to hear that you refused to entertain a walk-on Resolution by Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson to address this growing crisis and that you further would not allow the subject matter to be disclosed on the record,” said Mayor Gusciora. “The purpose of this resolution is to ensure that the City will be adequately prepared to address this public health emergency.”
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–According to Detective Lieutenant Bethesda Stokes, on Sunday, August 7, 2022, SCU Detectives were doing preventive patrolling the area of Hamilton and Hudson Streets. While in the area, the Detectives observed the arrestee (Cornel Fanfair) opened the driver’s side door and tossed a crack pipe out of the vehicle. Detectives conducted a motor vehicle stop and observed assorted drug paraphernalia throughout the vehicle. A narcotics dog was requested and arrived on scene. Detective Kulis arrived on scene and his K9 indicated on the trunk of the vehicle. The trunk was searched and Detectives recovered a loaded handgun with a high capacity magazine in the backpack. Fanfair was taken into custody without incident.
Cornel Fanfair, 46, Mount Holly, NJ charged with Unlaful Possession of a Weapon, Prohibited Weapons and Devices High Capacity Magazine, Criminal Restraint, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Hindering Apprehension.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–According to Trenton Police Detective Lieutenant Bethesda Stokes, on Saturday, August 6, 2022, SCU Detectives were patrolling the area of Grand Steet and Malone Street on reports of high crime and traffic violations. While in the area, the Detectives observed a vehicle double parked in the area of Grand St. Detectives stopped to investigate the parking violation coupled with the suspicious activity they observed as they pulled up in the area. While speaking with the driver Detectives observed a black garbage bag on the floor of the front passenger’s side and a backpack discarded on the front passenger’s seat. A narcotics dog was requested and arrived on scene. A consensual search from the driver revealed the bag containing approximately 8 pounds of CDS marijuana. A further search of the backpack was found to contain another quantity of CDS marijuana, a large amount of currency, and a digital scale. Both parties was taken into custody without incident. The search revealed approximately 10 ounces of CDS marijuana and a large sum of currency.
All arrestees/suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.
Michael M. Ellis, 35, Burlington NJ, Possession of CDS Marijuana over 5 pounds, with Intent to distribute, Money Laundering, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (scale) and 4 active warrants.
Deyon M. Robinson, 40, Trenton, NJ, Possession of DCS Marijuana over 6 ounces, with intent to distribute, Money Laundering, Active Warrant.
BARNEGAT LIGHT, NJ (OCEAN)–The Coast Guard, along with state and local responders, rescued five people from the water Sunday August 7, 2022, after their personal boat capsized at the entrance to Barnegat Inlet. At approximately 6:57 p.m. Sunday watchstanders at Sector Delaware Bay were informed that a vessel had capsized, stranding six people in the water. A 29-foot Response Boat – Small crew and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew launched from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Inlet to assist the stranded boaters. Coast Guard boat crews rescued three people, an off-duty lifeguard rescued two and the remaining boater swam to shore. New Jersey State Police personnel, Tow Boat crews, and a good Samaritan also assisted with rescue efforts. All five rescued boaters were transported ashore to awaiting emergency medical services personnel. The survivors were reported to be in stable condition.