- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - State officials said Wednesday they will deploy state troopers and other law enforcement officers in Newark’s most violence-prone neighborhoods as part of an anti-violence program that has already made headway in Trenton.

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said the additional officers will aggressively arrest gang members, repeat offenders and drug dealers who carry guns in public. Those arrested and convicted of carrying guns in public will face longer mandatory state prison terms and possible prosecution at the federal level.

Called TIDE-TAG, the program uses shared intelligence between law enforcement agencies to focus on street-level drug and gun crimes, as well as aggressive warrant enforcement and parolee supervision. TIDE refers to Targeted Integrated Deployment Effort, and TAG stands for the Targeted Anti-Gun initiative.

The state is committing $2.2 million to the effort, some of which comes from federal grants and criminal forfeiture funds.

Hoffman credited a similar initiative in Trenton, which had 37 murders in 2013. Of those, only eight occurred after the TIDE-TAG program was launched in August, Hoffman said.

Newark reported 111 murders last year, the highest total for the city since 1990.

“We must break the culture of violence that says you carry a gun because your rival does, and you use that gun to settle any dispute based upon the same warped logic,” Hoffman said. “We believe TIDE-TAG has saved lives in Trenton, and we’re determined to save lives in Newark.”