No one single shot was fired by any police officer in Newark, New Jersey in 2020. Yes, you read that correctly. The entire Newark Police Department refrained from shooting anybody in 2020. That is rare, but it shows that it is possible for police officers to stop killing people unnecessarily. Newark City Officials attribute the lack of shootings to the departments continual use of de-escalation tactics.
In a statement, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said that 2020 is "proof-positive that our de-escalation training is highly effective. Our officers have embraced de-escalation training and are actively employing this resource when engaging with the community."
The city of Newark, the largest city in the state of New Jersey, began using new de-escalation tactics in 2018. After a Justice Department investigation in 2016 found that the police department used excessive force routinely against minorities and made street stops that affect people of color more than others, the department decided to move towards a more community-focused style of policing and it seems to be working.
According to the Newark police department, their de-escalation tactics consist of "verbal and non-verbal actions used by members, when safe and without compromising law enforcement objectives, to minimize the likelihood of the need to use force during an incident and increase the likelihood of voluntary compliance."
Newark can be model for cities across America because there are too many police forces killing their citizens when they can use other means that doesn't include death.
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