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Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Capt. Al Della Fave ext. 6514
Lt. Gerald Lewis ext. 6516
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August 02, 2006

Governor Corzine, Attorney General Farber, State Police Superintendent Fuentes to Launch Expansion of
Operation CeaseFire, the Governorís Major State
Anti-gang Initiative

Trenton, N.J. -- Governor Jon S. Corzine, Attorney General Zulima V. Farber, and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph (Rick) Fuentes will launch the expansion of Operation CeaseFire, a comprehensive and strategic crime fighting initiative which joins law enforcement, prosecution and community outreach together to effectively combat gangs in the areas most affected by their criminal activities.

The Governor and top-ranking state law enforcement officials will meet Wednesday, August 2, at an all-day summit in Hamilton with police chiefs, county prosecutors, mayors and grassroots community leaders from the 13 towns across the state who will participate in the expanded CeaseFire program.

Governor Corzine will give the summit’s keynote address. There will also be presentations by Attorney General Farber, State Police Superintendent Fuentes, Criminal Justice Division Director Greg Paw, State Police Capt. Christopher Andreychak, and Dr. George L. Kelling, faculty-chair of the Police Institute at Rutgers University in Newark. The Police Institute is the lead organization in building police - community partnerships in the participating cities.

“The goal of Operation CeaseFire is to use intelligence-driven policing to focus upon the most dangerous and serious offenders in the most dangerous areas of our state,’’ said Attorney General Farber. “We will build our intelligence databases on gang activity, and handle investigations of all gun shootings aggressively and comprehensively - as if they were homicides.’’

“Operation CeaseFire is a continuum of our focused and committed efforts to stem the tide of gun violence in our communities and eradicate street gangs from the landscape of New Jersey,” said Colonel Fuentes. “The recent dismantling of the 9 Trey set of the Bloods street gang during Operation Nine Connect illustrates the effectiveness of law enforcement partnerships, intelligence-driven policing, and the sharing of our various resources. Operation CeaseFire represents the definitive collaboration between law enforcement and the community.”

Operation CeaseFire has been in operation in a two-square mile area on the Newark/Irvington border since May 2005. The strategy, which combines intensive law enforcement intelligence operations to target the most violent offenders, has resulted in a 30 percent reduction in shootings in the area. The success of the program led Governor Corzine to include a $750,000 appropriation in the new fiscal year 2007 budget to expand the program.

The expanded CeaseFire program will involve the cooperative efforts of three types of teams: law enforcement teams involving State Police, Division of Criminal Justice investigators, local police and sheriff’s officers; prosecution teams involving Division of Criminal Justice prosecutors and county prosecutors; and community teams including representatives of government, social service, faith-based and community organizations.

“By investigating shootings with all of the forensic technology at our disposal, we will identify and prosecute violent offenders,” said Division of Criminal Justice Director Paw.

The full program, involving trained community outreach workers, will be rolled out over the next year in Camden, Jersey City, Trenton, Paterson, Atlantic City, Elizabeth, Lakewood, Asbury Park, New Brunswick Vineland and Millville. But State Police detectives have already been assigned to each of these cities to help local police departments investigate shootings and input significant forensic and weapons information into statewide databases.

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