City police cracked down on quality-of-life crimes in the municipality on Friday and Saturday which resulted in three arrests, 91 summonses, and 12 motor vehicle violations, said police director Jerry Speziale.
Police tackled 24 sore spots in the city known for criminal activity. North Main Street, Park Avenue, Rosa Parks Boulevard, 10th and 12th Avenues are just few of the locations that police addressed on Friday and Saturday.
The 91 municipal ordinance violations were issued for obstruction of public passage, obstruction of commercial establishment, public drinking, and loud music from motor vehicle, said the director.
Two of the arrests were for disorderly conduct and one person was arrested on an active warrant, said Speziale.
The director said police continue to revamp their tactics to tackle violent and quality-of-life crimes in the city. He said on Thursday he exchanged ideas with Savannah, Georgia police chief and Birmingham, Alabama police chief, as well as a coordinators from John Jay College of Criminal Justice on initiatives to curb crime in the Silk City.
The city is working with the college in Safe City Initiative Program to address street violence.
Speziale particularly noted dire conditions on 12th Avenue from East 19th and East 23rd Street where large groups of young men, numbering in the hundreds, fill the streets drinking and consuming illegal drugs.
“Every single day. At least 300 to 400 people. The most crowds are seen on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays,” said Edgar Collazo, a city taxi company owner, whose drivers transport customers in the municipality. “My drivers complain about the amount of people hanging around that area. They feel unsafe.”
Collazo said his drivers often avoid driving through the area of East 23rd Street, where a 45-year-old was wounded during a two-group altercation earlier today, on their way to his taxi headquarter on Montgomery Street.
The crowds are mostly young people, some underage, who are puffing marijuana and drinking in public, said Collazo.
Speziale said the city may undertake an expansion of its data-driven business curfew ordinance which has been in place for almost a year. September marks one year since the business curfew ordinance was enacted. The director said an expansion on its first anniversary is being considered.
Police, community members, and elected officials have lauded the business curfew ordinance, which forces businesses in high crime areas to cease operation at midnight, for significant reduction in crime.
“We will continue to readdress our strategies on violent crime and will continue to fight the criminal element in our city to make a safer Paterson,” said Speziale.