The devastating shooting of Vernetta McCray last weekend marks the 26th life lost at the hands of gun violence this year in the City of Trenton.
District 15 Legislators Senator Shirley Turner, Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, and Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (All D- Mercer, Hunterdon) met this week with Mercer County law enforcement officials to discuss and develop gun violence and public safety solutions for the City of Trenton.
The legislators met with the Mayor and Public Safety Director of the City of Trenton and representatives of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Trenton Police Department, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Parole Board, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of another innocent life and distressed that gun violence continues to plague our capital city. Our residents should not live in fear that they will be shot while sitting on their porch and no one should ever have to suffer the loss of a loved one to gun violence.
“Keeping our community safe is a collaborative effort and we are grateful that our law enforcement officials are working together to stop the surge of violence in our neighborhoods, improve public safety, and address the needs of our youth and residents. However, the Trenton Police Department has been operating below staffing levels and with antiquated technological equipment for far too long, and our capital city requires state of the art technology and more boots on the ground to ensure that we have adequate police presence to protect residents and deter crime.
“Now that our schools will be operating remotely and many children will have less structure in their day, we are concerned about how this will contribute to gang involvement and criminal behavior for children who are already at risk. We believe that community-based programs need to be created with the assistance of state and local agencies and partners.
“The delegation will be meeting with the Murphy administration and Lieutenant Governor Oliver in the coming weeks to request assistance and intervention that will address the needs of our community.”