Violent Crime on the Decline in Asbury Park
Despite a deadly shooting involving a domestic incident last month, violent crime has gone down in Asbury Park over the last year or two, according to acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni in an interview with Townsquare Media News.
While that is good news, he cautioned, "By no means are we declaring victory there. This something that can wax and wane over time," said Gramiccioni.
He credited a collection of ideas and initiatives that he said might help keep the crime rate low.
"It obviously starts with a great partnership with the Asbury Park and Neptune Police Departments. We're running affirmative, tactical narcotics teams and ensuring that my folks are out there doing community policing side by side with the police departments," Gramiccioni said.
He stressed, "The price of that is constant vigilance, it's not as if we're saying we've declared victory and it's all fixed."
Gramiccioni pointed out that during his three years with the Prosecutor's Office, his department has been running law enforcement coordination meeting across the spectrum; federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement.
"We all get together. We share intelligence and information, and the way we approach it is we call it Priority Targeting: Targeting of those we know from intelligence and information, are the ones that are really responsible for the bulk of the violent criminal activity in an area like Asbury and Neptune," said Gramiccioni. He added they focus on those individuals because, "A very small percentage of the population in Asbury is committing an unusually large percentage of the crime."
Authorities watch and focus efforts on those individuals with the hope of catching them and taking them off the street and putting them behind bars as long as possible, according to Gramiccioni. "That's disruption and dismantling of the criminal activity," he said.
In addition, Gramiccioni noted an outreach element is helping keep violent crime at bay.
"There's a Crime Stoppers Charity that was rolled out. We're trying to generate support and trust in the community, so they're more inclined to share information with law enforcement, because we can't do it alone," he said.
Getting people in the community to help is a constant battle though.
"That's something we have to continue to build and probably one of our biggest priorities," added Gramiccioni.