TRENTON, N.J. – Trenton Police Director Steve Wilson today provided an update on crime throughout the City of Trenton in rebuttal to misinformation propagated by members of City Council during their combined session on Thursday, August 4.
“I am proud of the work the Department has been doing this year, and I am especially proud of my officers on the ground who make Trenton safer every day for residents, business owners and visitors,” Director Wilson said. “The information shared by some members of Council last week was dangerously inaccurate, but I am glad to correct the record and share the successes of the Trenton Police Department with the public.”
Wilson specifically cited information shared by Council members Sonya Wilkins, Robin Vaughn, and Kathy McBride as “just plain wrong.” At Thursday’s meeting, Councilwoman Vaughn referenced “carnage in the streets,” and Council President McBride referenced nine shootings that took place on Oliver Avenue or Olive Street. Police collected no evidence of any such series of shootings from ShotSpotter and there were no reports of any such event, though Director Wilson encourages the Council President to contact TPD with any evidence she may have of the “shootout” she described in her civic comments.
Further, Councilwoman Wilkins suggested that crime statistics are not shared with the public and that “no one is saying anything” about the previously mentioned (aforementioned) crimes. The Councilwoman stated that “there is so much crime that is running rampant,” while in truth, crime rates are trending down.
Currently the City of Trenton has a 46% decrease in shooting homicides, year to date, overall homicides have a decrease of 20% year to date compared to the same time period last year. For the 28-day period ending July 31, 2022, there was a 100% decrease in shooting homicides, as there were zero during that time compared to six during the same period in 2021. Similarly, the total number of shooting victims was down 50% during that time and total shooting incidents were down 45%. From January 1, 2022 to July 15, 2022 gun recoveries are up 31% as compared to the same time period last year totaling 136 guns.
Clearance rates, meanwhile, are up, with a 32% total clearance rate for shootings where an individual was hit for the year to date and a 46% clearance rate for shootings where an individual was not hit. This is higher than the national average of 25-30% and significantly higher than the 13% total clearance rate for a similar time period in 2021.
“One shooting, of course, is still too many. But the data show that the homicide rate is trending down in the City, and I can assure members of Council and the public that the Trenton Police Department is transparent and accurate with our reporting,” Director Wilson added. “Our best asset, though, is the public themselves, and if you see something, please call us and say something. This includes our elected leaders – if they have information concerning a crime that has taken place, please call me and let me know.”