In response to recent increases in gun related violence and illegal weapon recoveries, the Trenton Police Department launched an offensive action specifically targeting violent criminal activity this weekend. The operation, dubbed “Send a Message” began Friday evening and was wrapped up at midnight on Sunday.
Since the beginning of this year the Trenton Police Department has responded to 503 calls for shots being fired. The department has investigated approximately 220 robberies and assaults that were committed with firearms. Of those 220 incidents, 82 of them (20 within the last 30 days) resulted in individuals being struck by gunfire as compared to this time last year when 42 individuals had been struck. This represents a 95 percent increase of people hit by gunfire during the same period last year. 179 firearms have been recovered this year to date.
The three-day operation was spearheaded by members of the Trenton Police Department’s Special Operations Section under the direction of Captain David Armitage. They were assisted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey State Police TEAMS and Tactical Patrol Units. The operation encompassed the executions of search warrants and aggressive street operations throughout the city. The street operations included vehicle interdictions, DWI patrols, stop and challenges and mobile surveillances.
The combined results of the operation were as follows:
- 9 executions of search warrants on residences throughout the city
- 41 arrests of individuals for various offenses (27 for drug offenses)
- 8 guns recovered
- 25 hand summonses issued
- 101 motor vehicle summons issued
- 5 vehicles towed
- 1 recovered stolen motor vehicle
- $8,704.00 in currency seized
- assorted quantities of controlled dangerous substances (drugs) recovered
Police Director Joseph Juniak stated “Even though this department is facing a massive layoff of personnel, we wanted to “send a message” to both the citizens and the criminals that our department’s focus will remain on combating violent crime throughout the city of Trenton. Our statistics are indicating an alarming rise in violent crimes committed with a gun and the number of guns on the street in the criminals’ hands. We cannot allow this trend to continue. We will be working aggressively with our law enforcement partners and other agencies to implement continuous Pro-active strategies in hope of making a significant impact.”