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Message to the Community from Linden Police Chief Hart

Over the past several days our community has been ravaged by three separate shooting incidents. While these recent incidents have been isolated to one or two areas of our city, this violent crime is a problem for all of us. There have been 14 confirmed shooting incidents to date this year, and while that is down from the highs that we saw just a few years ago, it is still unacceptable in every possible sense.

I want to assure the members of our community that this is our number one priority; nothing that we do is more essential than protecting our community from violent crime. Detectives have been working around the clock to identify those responsible for this senseless violence, and we are working closely with our law enforcement partners at all levels to identify any potential links to criminal activity across the county and state.

People have a right to feel safe and secure in their homes and in their neighborhoods. Recent events have, understandably, had a devastating impact on our sense of security, and we recognize that in addition to stopping these crimes we also have an obligation to restore the feelings of safety that our residents deserve.

In response to these events we have deployed additional personnel, and residents can expect to see saturation patrols in designated areas. In addition, we have deployed a street crimes interdiction unit specifically focused on deterring this kind of violent crime. They will be on our streets every single day for as long as they are needed to reverse these trends.

Union County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that results in an indictment and conviction in these shootings. Tips can be submitted anonymously by phone 24-hours a day at 908-654-TIPS (8477) or online.

Despite these steps, and whatever other steps we may take, we cannot solve this problem alone. I urge each and every member of our community to come forward and cooperate with our investigations; if you see something, say something. If something looks off, say something. If you know information about criminal activity, say something. Through partnership, we can stop this trend and restore the community that we want and deserve.