A in Newark that critically injured an 18-year-old Newark man last week and a gang-related, that occurred five hours later have sparked conversations about violence in town.
Many Patch readers are discussing how the violence has changed the image the city, just 14 square miles, saying that city officials must do more to stop it.
“You wouldn't recognize it as the Newark you grew up in. Instead of kids fist fighting now they are stabbing each other,” wrote one Patch reader on Newark Patch’s Facebook page.
The same reader wrote, “I don't understand why the city is not waking up and realizing that we have a serious problem. Are they going to stay in denial until it gets so bad that it's going to take a miracle to handle or let's handle it now while we still can?”
Mayor Al Nagy recently told Patch that while the recent violent crimes are tragic, gang-related crime has been trending down in recent years. More specifically, the number of gang-related crimes — including non-violent incidents — has dropped from 102 in 2008 to 31 in 2011.
“Overall, gang-related incidents are down. There are not as many as there have been in the past,” Nagy said.
The mayor also noted that the city has a number of programs that specifically address gang-related crimes, including the ’s cooperative efforts with the Southern Alameda Major Crimes Task Force and the department’s Special Enforcement Team. City officials also meet with representatives of the for youth joint task force meetings.
But we want to know what you think: What should the city and its residents do about youth violence and gangs in Newark? Tell us in the comments.
Newark Patch plans to talk with police officials about these incidents. Let us know what kinds of questions you would like answered.