Several arrests in recent months that have taken guns and drugs off the streets in two commercial corridors in Newark’s North Ward are the direct result of supplemental policing funded through the two Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

“Our focus from day one has been the improvement of quality-of-life on the street for business owners and potential investors,” said P.J. Calello, Board President for the Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway Alliance. “We’ve made public safety a priority and it will continue to be a big part of our focus as we help to set the table for greater investment along the corridor,” Calello added.

The priority on public safety that Calello highlighted has led to the recovery of drugs and deadly weapons over the last few months, including one recent arrest on Bloomfield Avenue where a handgun with hollow-point bullets, along with heroin, were recovered from two suspects.

The supplemental policing efforts of the BIDs are delivered through the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, which partners with the organizations to provide two police officers and a police vehicle during key times of the day and evening. The number of days per week are managed in cooperation with each BID and are changed based on need and the time of year.

“We’ve been able to make some important arrests and take meaningful police actions throughout the Bloomfield Avenue, Lower Broadway, and Mt. Prospect Avenue corridors in recent months, thanks to the investment being made by these districts,” said Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura.

In addition to major crimes, the supplemental policing programs provide added coverage for other types of quality-of-life issues, including prohibited parking, trespassing, and open container violations.

North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr., who was instrumental in forming both Business Improvement Districts, underscored the importance of the partnership.

“Being able to leverage the efforts of the Sheriff’s office to strengthen and support our local policing efforts is one of the major benefits of a business improvement district,” Ramos said.

For more information on the Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway Alliance and its supplemental policing program, please contact Chris Bernardo, at

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