on January 30, 2016 at 7:14 AM, updated January 30, 2016 at 9:38 AM
Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose, a former Newark police director and chief and Essex County chief of detectives, was installed as director earlier this month amid a consolidation of the city's police, fire and emergency management operations.
Mayor Ras Baraka has acknowledged that Ambrose's hiring was in part an attempt to address an increase in violent crimes across the city, which saw a significant jump in shootings and homicides in 2015.
Reached Friday, Ambrose said that reducing street violence in Newark remains a struggle.
"I don't want to mislead the public, we're not going to eliminate all homicides," Ambrose said. "But we are working with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, we're sharing information, and doing everything in our power to reduce them."
To help combat the recent wave of fatal shootings, Ambrose said 30 police officers have been reassigned to street duty.
The latest victims in a string of three fatal shootings in Newark were found by authorities inside a car.
Newark is no stranger to periodic surges in shootings and homicides.
A wave of violence last August spurred city officials to redeploy dozens of Newark police officers out from behind their desks and onto street duty.
In November, a string of fatal shootings over the long Thanksgiving holiday pushed the city's 2015 homicide total past the previous year.
The current surge began Wednesday night with the killing of Karod H. Tucker, 36, of Irvington, who died at University Hospital after being wounded in a shooting in the 900 block of Franklin Avenue near Stephen Crane Village.
Authorities found Rahman Fluellen, 23, of Newark, shot to death just hours later inside the front hallway of an Irvine Turner Boulevard apartment building.
Terrance Moore Jr., 23, and Derrick A Valentine, 22, both died late Thursday evening after police found the pair suffering from gunshot wounds inside a gray Honda Accord on New Street.
All four homicides are under investigation by the county's Homicide Task Force. It remains unclear if any of killings are related.
No arrests have been made, and no suspects have been identified in connection to the killings, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said Friday. @@@
In : #EssexCounty
Tags: 4 dead in 24 hours: newark crime surge tests new director
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