EAST ORANGE, NJ - Disbanded since April 2016, the East Orange Police Division recently reactivated its Violent Crimes Task Force to directly address “hot spots,” violent activity and issues of community concern, city officials announced.

“Public Safety is always my top priority and I am 100% in favor of doing whatever we need to do to keep our community safe,” said Mayor Ted R. Green. “Reactivating the task force is a huge step in the right direction.”

The task force was redeployed on Sunday, August 26, and they have already made a significant mark, making over 20 arrests for offenses ranging from drug possession, possession with intent to distribute, eluding and receiving stolen property.

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In fact, the task force officers recently ended a crosstown robbery spree after stopping a stolen car from West Orange which was ultimately linked to several robberies in Montclair. The officers first noticed the car when it was circling City Hall Plaza in East Orange. A pursuit ensued and ended in Orange where the suspects were apprehended and charged accordingly.

Crime Down

Compared to this time last year, overall crime is down 19% and violent crime is down 25.4%.

“Ultimately, our community is experiencing historic lows in crime, but people don’t always feel safe when they don’t see officers on the street. This is what community policing is about. We’ve got more police walking the beat, more police in the parks, more police on bikes and now more police to proactively target violent crime,” said Police Chief Phyllis Bindi. “We are sending a strong message that we have zero tolerance in the City of East Orange. Crime is down and we are going to keep it that way.”

The task force was originally established in 2005 under former Police Director José Cordero, who now serves as the city’s Public Safety Liaison.

“Every step in our anti-crime plan is strategic and will make a major shift in the public’s perception of East Orange. If people say they don’t feel safe, then we are going to use the manpower and resources needed to make sure they do,” said Cordero. “The message to people involved in violent criminal activity in East Orange is clear: Regardless of where you come from, we are coming after you!”