Montclair Crime Rates Jump By Nearly 20% In 2011

Montclair Police Chief says the department faces many challenges.


In 2011, overall crime increased by nearly 20 percent in Montclair, according to the Montclair Police Department's annual report.

When it comes to arrests, though, only 652 adults were arrested last year compared with 1,015 in 2009. In 2011, 142 juveniles were arrested compared with 197 in 2009.

Police Chief David Sabagh said that the police department continued to face many challenges in 2011 including an economic downturn that manifested itself in a variety of ways: reduced staffing levels, lean operating budgets, and increased crime rates.

"This was the first time in the history of the department that we had the unpleasant responsibility of implementing furloughs and layoffs ... in direct response to the worsening financial situation within the township government," he said. "Additionally, many officers, and several command level officers, retired from service bringing our operational strength down to numbers not seen in decades.

"Despite these difficulties the Montclair Police Department, with its dedicated team of law enforcement professionals, continued to deliver high quality police services to the citizenry of Montclair," he said.

According to the annual report, police also have seen a slight uptick of 8 percent when it comes to gang involvement.

The increases this past year, police say, were mainly attributable to transient persons passing through Montclair.

"Local gang members continue to have relationships with gang members in other jurisdictions. Local gang membership stabilized this year. The overt gang activity has been suppressed as a result of several identified members that were charged with the gang recruiting statute, which resulted in enhanced penalties," the report said. "Additionally, it has become common knowledge that the School Resource Officer identified several members in connection with the four local gangs identified last year. There was one new group causing problems at Mount Hebron Middle School, this was quickly suppressed through education and intervention."

To view the complete report go here.


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