LINDEN, NJ - Linden Mayor Derek Armstead and Police Chief David Hart addressed residents via Facebook on the recent increase in crime throughout the city in recent weeks.

Here is the full joint statement from Mayor Armstead and Police Chief Hart:

The violent crimes that have plagued our community over recent weeks have, understandably, caused feelings of fear and anxiety among residents. Each of us has a fundamental right to feel safe in our home, and violence like this can never be accepted as routine.

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Residents, you need to know that we are doing everything possible to protect you and your family. Our Police Officers are working around the clock to stop these criminals and to take illegal guns off of our streets; this month alone they have arrested 14 violent criminals and seized 5 illegal firearms. We have increased patrols in high-risk areas, and we created a task force specifically focused on this problem.

We have been working closely with our law enforcement partners at the local, county, and state levels, as well as with private sector partners like PSE&G, who recently replaced the dull, outdated lighting in 4th ward park with brighter, high-efficiency LED lights. There are plans to upgrade the lighting in additional parks, and we are in the process of expanding our public camera system into more parks.

Regardless of what measures we take, however, our most valuable tool to stop crime is you! Stopping this violence requires a strong and continued partnership between the public and the police. Residents are encouraged to cooperate with police officers by giving them access to their home video camera footage if something occurs, and by sharing important information about criminal activity, in whatever way they feel most comfortable.

This criminal element is knowingly putting our loved ones in danger. They do not share our values, and we need to make it clear to them, in no uncertain terms, that we are not afraid; we will not shelter you, we will not protect you, and we will not tolerate what you are doing to our community.

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