Trenton and Mercer County officials are sending extra law enforcement into New Jersey’s capital city.
The decision comes after police found two dead 18-year-olds Sunday morning. William Irrizarry and Julius Vargas are the city’s 23rd and 24th murders for 2020. Police say the young men were gunned down at around 7:30 a.m.
This morning, local officials met to discuss how to decrease violent crime. Mayor Reed Gusciora, Police Director Sheilah Coley, and Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri have decided to increase law enforcement in the city.
“Every homicide is one too many,” said Mayor Reed Gusciora. “While Trenton is just one of several cities struggling with violent crime as COVID-19 erodes economic opportunity across the country, we’re not content to be just another statistic.”
One part of the plan is to increase the total size of the Trenton Police Department. Police Director Coley has requested an extra police academy session. This will double the number of new recruits for the department.
Supplementing local police, more law enforcement from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department will head to Trenton. Coley has also requested N.J. State Police to increase their patrols in the capital city.
“Today’s plan will help put more law enforcement officers where they are needed the most,” Gusciora said.
The record for murders in Trenton, set in 2013, is 37. The city saw a total of 16 killings in 2019 and 17 killings in 2018, according to The Trentonian.