West Orange Mayor Robert D. Parisi announced this week that the Township has formed a specialized Street Crimes Unit under the direction of the West Orange Police Department, to address a recent uptick in criminal activity in some sections of town.
Last week, a man was beaten and robbed on Valley Road at the Orange border.
"We have had a spike in crime in the areas of town that border Orange," said Parisi. "We are doing what we have to do to address these issues."
Parisi said the police department would move shifts around to reallocate four police officers -- a Sergeant and three officers -- to the Street Crimes Unit. He said the change would not impact the Department’s current number of police patrol units.
The township has been working closely with the town of Orange on the issue, he said, and will continue to do so.
Parisi said the spike in crime in those areas was a relatively recent occurrence. He stated in the release that despite an overall drop in crime during the first half of the year, the Unit will take "an aggressive approach to make our streets safer."
“These densely populated neighborhoods have become known as hot spots for crime,” said Police Chief James P. Abbott in the release. “The best way to deal with criminal activity in the same area is by having extra police presence to respond quickly.”
"We all live in this town and we see there are points of concern," Parisi said. "We want residents to know that we are doing everything we can to make people feel safe."