The number of murders in Paterson dropped by a whopping 39 percent in 2023, according to police data released on Tuesday afternoon.
Homicides dropped from 28 in 2022 to 17 in 2023, a 39.3% decrease.
“We made a promise to our residents that we will deliver a safer city for them, and that is exactly what we are doing,” state-appointed police chief Isa Abbassi said.
Non-fatal shooting incidents dropped by 33.3 percent, 66 in 2023 compared to 99 the prior year. Robberies decreased by 22.6 percent to 332 compared to 429 in 2022. Aggravated assaults decreased by 15.6 percent from 1,304 in 2022 to 1,098 in 2023.
“These statistics are encouraging, but we must continue to drive down fear and disorder in Paterson while separating the signal from the noise,” said the chief.
The reduction in Paterson’s crime rate is partly due to Abbassi’s Summer Crime and Quality of Life Strategy, supported by governor Phil Murphy’s administration. This strategy involved state resources, personnel, technology, and almost $1 million in extra summer funding. It ran from Memorial Day to Labor Day, a time when crime typically rises in major cities. Additional efforts included a violence reduction initiative focusing on crime hotspots and the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, aimed at improving areas with major public safety and quality-of-life issues.
“2023 saw some big changes within the Paterson Police Department, all for the better of PPD as well as public safety in the city,” Abbassi said. Among the most significant developments was the takeover of Paterson’s police force by New Jersey attorney general Matt Platkin. This move shifted control from mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration and led to a reorganization of the police leadership.
Abbassi has been working to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the community through transparency and improved police training that focuses on respecting people’s constitutional rights. “Our focus on accountability and policing excellence remain steadfast, and the men and women of PPD are rising to the challenge for the people of Paterson,” he said.
Police seized 160 firearms in 2013, stated the chief.
“Crime is going down across the country but no community is seeing the same decrease that Paterson is,” Abbassi said. “I look forward to 2024 to continue the improvements made to the department and our strategies to make sure community members feel safe while they walk down the street in Paterson.”