Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. wants to make the Silk City a little safer.
That was the general message when Pascrell announced a $700,000 federal grant for the Paterson Police Department to establish a Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) in the city.
“Big cities like Paterson have been the epicenter of America’s gun violence epidemic. With this grant, Paterson PD will have new tools and technology to swiftly identify guns used for criminal purposes and prosecute those who put our community in harm’s way,” the Congressman said.
Rooting Out Gun Crimes
A part of the Department of Justice’s Local Law Enforcement Crime Gun Intelligence Center Initiative, the program would allow local police to utilize state-of-the-art technology to find crime guns and to effectively prosecute perpetrators.
“We are profoundly grateful to Congressman Pascrell for his steadfast support for public safety in Paterson,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “This is announcement couldn’t come at a more fortuitous time.
What Are CGICs?
CGICs are an interagency collaboration that allows multiple stakeholders to share information about gun crimes and perpetrators developed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
ATF works with a variety of stakeholders, including local police departments, local crime laboratories, probation and parole units, local police gang units, prosecuting attorneys, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, crime analysts, community groups, and academic organizations. ATF noted 27 cities had been awarded grant funding before the new round of funding had been allocated.
Pascrell was no stranger to fighting against gun violence in the U.S. He was the lead sponsor of the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act alongside Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and his Protecting America’s First Responders Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden.
He has also worked for years to fully fund the Byrne JAG program, the COPS Hiring program, and other key funding streams for state and local law enforcement.
The federal program comes in the wake of the Oxford school shooting in Michigan and Gov. Phil Murphy’s renewed a push for a comprehensive gun safety bill package to be introduced. The legislation would represent the third such package passed during his administration.
“Over the past four years, New Jersey has become a national leader on gun safety,” said Murphy in announcing a suite of bills in Metuchen Dec. 2. “We must continue to build on that progress and make our state safer for the over nine million people who call New Jersey home.”