July 17, 2012 - CITY OF NEWARK AND ESSEX COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE LAUNCH SECOND ANNUAL YOUTH PUBLIC SAFETY ACADEMY
For Immediate Release
CITY OF NEWARK AND ESSEX COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE LAUNCH
SECOND ANNUAL YOUTH PUBLIC SAFETY ACADEMY
Program will educate 40 Newark youth aged 10-14 about each agency’s operations;
Program participants will also learn how to report crimes, resist gangs and gang activity
Newark, NJ – July 17, 2012 – Mayor Cory A. Booker,the Newark Municipal Council,Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood Engagement Margarita Muñiz, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, Essex County First Assistant Prosecutor Robert Laurino, Essex County Chief of Detectives Anthony Ambrose, Police Director Samuel A. DeMaio, Police Chief Sheilah A. Coley, Fire Director Fateen A. Ziyad, Fire Chief John G. Centanni, and other dignitaries launched the City of Newark’s second annual Youth Public Safety Academy today, at the Newark Fire Academy, at 191 Orange Street. Deputy Mayor Muñiz served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Also in attendance was Council Member-At-Large Carlos M. Gonzalez.
“For the second straight year, this highly successful program unites our Police and Fire Departments with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in teaching our youth to manifest their own excellence by learning about personal safety, and that drugs, gangs, and violence are not the answer to solving problems. I commend the three partnering agencies on continuing this collaboration to empower our youth,” Mayor Booker said. “This summer, we are offering even more opportunities for children to be involved in positive activities. Working together with our residents – including our youth – we will make our streets and City safer this summer.”
“The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is often seen as the last stop for those who have violated the law, but a core part of our mission is crime prevention. We believe exposing young people to the often sad consequences of crime and career options in law enforcement will help them to make better decisions in life. We are delighted to partner with the Newark Police and Fire Departments on this very important initiative,’’ said Acting County Prosecutor Murray.
The Youth Public Safety Academy is a joint project of the City of Newark’s Police and Fire Departments in conjunction with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. The mission is to educate participants about each agency’s primary functions and operations, with hands-on instruction and tours at training sites of the Police and Fire departments and the Prosecutor’s Office. Program participants will also learn how to report crimes, resist gangs and gang activity. Finally, they will learn how to prevent fires at home. During the first day of the event, students were able to get information at tables hosted by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Fire Department.
“I am so excited to welcome these young Newarkers to our second annual Youth Public Safety Academy,” said Deputy Mayor Muñiz. “You will learn so many valuable life lessons about personal safety, fire prevention, gang resistance, and career choices. I hope you gain everything you can from this important class.”
“We are continuing our partnership with the Newark Fire Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office to teach our youth valuable life lessons about personal and public safety. This program benefits our youth not only as individuals, but also our entire community as a whole. Arresting drug dealers and gang members are only temporary solutions in our efforts to improve our City. We must unite as public safety agencies to engage our youth, to make them part of the solution to crime and violence. I commend all the partners on continuing this important program,” said Director DeMaio.
“This class will help our youth learn how they can keep themselves safe from the traps of gangs and violence, and the dangers of cyberbullying. They will learn how to make wise personal decisions and choices, and become better citizens and true partners in our efforts to reduce crime in Newark,” said Chief Coley.
The 40 participants are coming from the East Ward-based Salvation Army/Boys and Girls Club Ironbound and Central Ward-based FP YOUTHOUTCRY Foundation. Students will be picked up Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 8:15 a.m. and transported to the class site, which will vary from week to week. The class will include field trips to such sites as the Police Department’s Firearms Range, Fraternal Order of Police Museum, the Fire Department Training Academy, and the Essex County Crime Scene Unit in Orange.
“We have taken a holistic approach to addressing Newark’s public safety and youth engagement issues with this joint Public Safety Academy,” said Director Ziyad. “This class engages and empower our City’s youth, and provides them with important information about personal safety and possible careers in public service.”
“Youth are often at great risk in times of fire,” said Fire Chief Centanni. “This class will help them learn the dangers and how to prevent fires in their homes. I applaud our entire public safety team on their work on this important program.”
All program participants will receive free breakfast and lunch through the City of Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being’s (SuNup) Summer Nutrition Program. At the conclusion of the program on August 2, each child will receive a certificate of program completion during a graduation ceremony.
“I’m really excited to learn more about the police department because I want to be a police officer when I get older to try and stop gang violence. There should be consequences to breaking the law and I want to learn how to enforce the law,” said 12-year-old Tiffany Davis.
11-year-old Destiny Mack is also excited to be part of the program and said, “I can’t wait to learn more about the police department and how they help the community! I also can’t wait to learn about the fire department and their role in saving the lives of others.”
“My main interest is to learn about the Police Department and the dangers they have to face to keep our city and my neighborhood safe. It’s good to help people!” said 10-year-old Christian Guzman.
Since taking office in July 2006, the Booker administration has worked diligently with its public and private partners to empower Newark’s young residents with the tools they need to learn, grow, stay healthy, and achieve excellence. The City of Newark’s “Children’s Bill of Rights” is the basis for all youth initiatives. The Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being’s Immunization program and the Kresge Foundation- funded Childhood Lead Poisoning initiative, are two examples of how the City is helping under-insured and at-risk families and children maintain good health. This also includes holistic programs supported by the City of Newark’s 15 Family Success Centers, which address a wide range of youth and family issues. Other initiatives, such as the Summer Youth Work Experience Program, the Youth Employment and Education Success Center, and the Newark Mentoring Coalition are working to provide Newark youth with employment and internship opportunities, as well as workplace and life skill development training.
For more information about any City of Newark program or policy, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.
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About the City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in the United States and the largest in New Jersey, with a population of more than 280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation’s largest transportation super-structures including an international airport, major commuter and freight rail lines, major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.
With a new Administration as of July 2006, Newark continues to see signs of a strong revival. Its population showed growth in the most recent census. Its six major colleges and universities are further expanding their presence. The rate of production of affordable housing has doubled, and new businesses are moving in. There is still much work to be done but Newark is on its way to achieving its mission: to set a national standard for urban transformation.
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