Newark’s ‘Adopt-a-Block’ program aims to build relationship between police and community

The Newark Police Department’s “Adopt-A-Block” program took over Fabyan Street in the city’s South Ward on Friday afternoon, as part of an effort to bridge the divide between residents and law enforcement.

“The Department continues to aggressively not only seek but to create opportunities for our public to come out in a relaxed atmosphere and have positive interactions with our public servants,” said Raul Malave, Assistant Public Safety Director for Newark.

Just launched by the Department of Public Safety, several streets in the city are closed off on a rotating basis between 10-4, Monday through Friday. The locations are within the department’s seven precincts and typically in areas that are struggling economically or have higher rates of crime.

Various city agencies and services also set up shop on the blocks.

Officials say the program is also very timely. As cities across the nation remain in unreset over policing, Deputy Chief Brian O’Hara says Newark is working hard to prevent a situation like the chaos seen on the street in Portland.

“Even from just saying hello and smiling at someone who may have heard bad things about the police, or seen bad stuff on media, something as simple as that does have an effect,” O’Hara said.

Phase One of the Adopt-A-Block initiative runs until late August. 

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