BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- The
Bloomfield Police Department saw a significant decrease in both violent and
nonviolent crimes in 2018, continuing a positive multi-year trend that shows
enforcement and awareness campaigns are working as intended.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)
classify Part I violent crimes as: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault,
burglary, theft, auto/motor vehicle theft, and arson. Bloomfield Police report
700 Part I crimes committed in 2018, down from 839 such crimes in 2017.
The number of Part I crimes
committed in Bloomfield had soared to 1,212 in 2014, following consecutive
yearly increases, and threatened to continue rising for years, before the
Township of Bloomfield hired former Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio as
Bloomfield Police Director (now Director of Public Safety) at the beginning of
2015. DeMaio instituted changes including community policing, strategically
assigning officers shifts during the evening hours, meeting daily with police
commanders, utilizing crime analysis, crime mapping and predictive policing and
demanding more transparency.
“Bringing Director DeMaio on is one of my proudest achievements as Mayor, and a move that immediately paid dividends, as his leadership completely restructured the culture and tactics of the Police Department,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “Lower crime rates,
higher case closures rates, and fewer negative interactions between citizens
and police officers make our town a more desirable place to raise a family and
Within the gigantic reduction of
Part I crimes in four years, the most dramatic type of crime reduction was the
number of robberies, down from 72 in 2014 to 19 in 2018, a 74% decrease.
Burglaries are down 68% during that four year stretch, and theft and motor
vehicle theft are also down by nearly 50%.
“Reconstituting the Police Department with a greater emphasis on working with the community has lead to more positive encounters with citizens through public forums, roll calls, and involvement with public school students and their parents. In the last four years, we brought the number of part I crimes down from 1,212 to 700. That’s 512 fewer victims of crime, which we were able to achieve by reinforcing the culture of public service and respect for the communities we serve,” said
Director of Public Safety Samuel DeMaio. “Our priorities are keeping our
communities safe while reducing crime and increasing citizen satisfaction. The
crime stats speak for themselves as do the fewer citizen complaints. Any time
you have enforcement campaigns, you are going to find a few people who feel
they were mistreated, correctly or incorrectly. But from 2014 to 2018 we had a
60% reduction in citizen internal affairs complaints filed against the
department. Our officers understand that their priority is public service, and
anyone found to have broken the public’s trust will be punished.”
In 2018, Bloomfield also saw a
decrease in Part II crimes, including illegal possession of guns, Controlled
Dangerous Substances, and DWIs. Parking and moving summonses are consistent
with previous years.
After operating without enough body
cameras, the department made the financial investment to assign one to every
officer, with the footage uploaded to a secure database at the conclusion of
Director DeMaio cites community
policing and police visibility in the community as the biggest reasons that
crime has continued to come down. The Department organizes summer Youth Police
Academies for Middle School and High School students each year, as well a
six-week long Citizen Police Academies. Additionally, more community roll calls
have been conducted to allow residents to learn about how Officers prioritize
their duties during each shift. Events such as Coffee with a Cop continue to be
The next citizen police academy
will begin February 12. The upcoming January 14 Third Ward community dialogue
will feature a Neighborhood Watch Program Presentation by the Bloomfield Police
Department at 7:00pm in the Carteret School Gymnasium.