Murphy announces $7 million in anti-crime tech after releasing half of state’s prison population

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TRENTON, NJ – Senator Michael Testa responded to Governor Murphy’s announcement that $7 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds will be used to fund the purchase of acoustic sensors and gunshot detection technologies, video cameras, and automatic license plate readers to help law enforcement respond to a surge of crime across the state.

Sen. Michael Testa responded to Gov. Murphy’s announcement that $7 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds will be used to fund the purchase of anti-crime technology to help law enforcement respond

“Governor Murphy just let 40% of the prisoners out of our jails, and now he’s spending millions so police can track the people he released who are out on the streets committing crimes again,” said Testa (R-1). “The governor’s progressive logic is dizzying.”

“Combating gun violence is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted approach,” said Governor Murphy. “The funding announced today will provide resources to both law enforcement agencies and community partners, equipping them with much-needed resources as we continue to fight the epidemic of gun violence. Today’s announcement allows us to make our communities safer while we continue advocating for commonsense gun safety measures.”

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“Today’s historic investment in gun violence prevention reflects the Murphy Administration’s commitment to protecting the safety of all New Jersey residents,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “I applaud Governor Murphy for recognizing that we cannot reduce gun violence unless we invest in both law enforcement and the community, and for demonstrating that one of the best ways to strengthen public trust is by ensuring public safety.”

New Jersey is investing $7 million in technology-driven violence reduction to allow communities across New Jersey to acquire and enhance gunshot detection technology and related infrastructure improvements, making it easier for first responders and law enforcement to more effectively respond to—and reduce—gun violence in New Jersey’s communities. This funding comes amid a national spike in gun violence.

The funding will allow recipients to acquire a fully integrated network of three distinct systems, including an acoustic detection system, a video management system, and a system of automatic license plate readers. When combined, these systems allow first responders to more quickly render lifesaving medical aid to victims of gun violence and assist law enforcement in identifying shooters, leading to faster apprehension and reduced instances of retaliatory violence.

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Through this investment, agencies like the Paterson Police Department will be able to direct resources to areas where they are most necessary and at the exact time when such service means the difference between life and death. The technology will also help prosecutors obtain the kind of evidence necessary to meet their burden of proof and uphold community faith in the justice system.

“The $7 million we announced today for New Jersey police departments will help provide state-of-the-art technologies to combat the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” said U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. “This funding comes directly from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which I proudly helped pass last year. With it, our communities’ Finest will have the tools and resources they need to prevent and respond to gun violence. As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of Robert Cuadra, let us redouble our efforts to stomp-out gun violence in our streets. Enough is enough.”

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“Gun violence has impacted far too many precious lives in Paterson and across our state,” said Assembly members Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly, whose district includes Paterson. “This senseless violence is upending the lives of families and our communities. The funding announced today by Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck will help us combat the violence on our streets by both empowering law enforcement and community-based organizations that do critical groundwork. We must continue to work to create secure and healthy environments for all. We look forward to working with the administration to continue making Paterson safe.”