July 10, 2013

When we think of summer, it would behoove us to think about vacations, trips, and of course….no more school for the children! These few months out of school bring forth opportunities for families to catch up on dinners missed, family nights cancelled, and activities postponed. Oftentimes, this additional time of unscheduled activity can lead kids to venture into unproductive activities like crime.

According to Newark Public Schools’ District Information webpage, there are approximately 37,443 students enrolled in Newark Public Schools. This doesn’t include students who are in private schooling or other education institutions. In Newark, educational institutions, community based organizations, places of worship and the Booker administration have been working diligently to create sufficient outlets that help students make wiser decisions in activity selection. What better way to help youth stay out of harm’s way than with exposure to activities that keep them busy, entertained and eager to learn? Take a look at the 2013 Newark Public Schools Summer Programs Directory, which can also be located on the school district’s website: http://www.nps.k12.nj.us/cms/lib7/NJ01001467/Centricity/Domain/19/SummerPrograms2013Booklet.pdf. There are plentiful opportunities for children to explore, engage, and interact!

In addition, the city created 2013 Summer Programs Directory with lots of great activity for the youth to do! (http://www.acnj.org/admin.asp?uri=2081&action=15&di=2523&ext=pdf&view=yes) The directory is a result of a collaborative effort made by city administration and agencies, arts and cultural outlets, places of worship and various youth development outlets.

As the city and recreation outlets continue creating pathways, the City of Newark’s police department is working hard to ensure that Newark has a safe summer. According to LocalTalkNews, a local newspaper to Essex County, Police Director Samuel A. DeMaio said that Newark has seen a decline in crime within the last five years. To keep this going, both Newark Mayor Cory Booker and DeMaio collaborated to create a public safety initiative for summer 2013. This initiative includes efforts such as curfew management and strategic distribution of Newark police force.

To improve public safety, Booker and DeMaio will free up 181 police officers from communication and other corrections jobs so that they can patrol the streets of Newark. They will also enforce curfew laws to ensure that individuals under 18 years of age should not be out on the street after 10pm during the weekdays and 11pm on weekends. Lastly, the initiative will incorporate more police presence in eight target areas between the hours of 11pm and 3am in the morning.

As a fellowship program focused on solution-based public policies around critical issues such as education, youth development, and crime, we are as concerned as you are about the future our youth, their exposure to uplifting programs and activities, and public safety. Crime and public safety will be two essential policies we tap into during our first-ever Leadership Newark Public Policy Summit on November 2, 2013. We anticipate a very substantive, intellectual, and empowering conversation that will lead us to continue making changes. Your participation at the summit will add the necessary voices needed to make progress.

Stay updated on the Leadership Newark Public Policy Summit by joining our email list. Go to www.leadershipnewark.org and sign up. We will continue to announce new developments on our Facebook (leadershipnewark) and Twitter (@leadershipnwk) over the coming months.