Newark Police Department Opens New Headquarters
Officials hope to strengthen public, law enforcement cooperation
The Newark Police Department unveiled its new, multi-million dollar headquarters Monday after two years of construction.
The 75,000-square-foot, three-story building, located at 480 Clinton Ave. in Newark's South Ward, houses the department's 5th precinct and the city's office of emergency management, in addition to headquarters operations.
The brick edifice, which includes a glass facade, features 154 work stations (including 24 private offices), six conference rooms, a large community room, a fitness center, locker rooms and 18 detention cells. The facility also boasts cutting-edge technology, including 124 surveillance cameras and a mission control room that features a 55-foot monitor wall with 48 individual monitors.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker said the $68 million, state-of-the-art facility is designed to strengthen the relationship between the public and law enforcement.
As part of that effort, the community room, which will be named after William C. Johnson Jr., the Newark police officer who was shot to death earlier this year, will be used for neighborhood meetings and public events, according to Booker.
The mayor joined other city officials Monday morning for the building's ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Newark Councilman Ras Baraka, who represents the South Ward, said the building has the potential to spur business development and raise community awareness.
"Hopefully, now that it's built … it'll bring some more safety, or at least the illusion of safety, to this area to give businesses the confidence to invest in this community," said Baraka.
The city's South Ward is known for violent crime and is where Johnson was killed in May.
With the advanced technology, Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio and Newark Police Chief Sheilah Coley said they will be more "plugged into the community."
"We want you to know when you feel it, we feel it … we're here on the front lines with the community," said Coley. "That's where we should be."
Booker said some personnel still are moving into the new headquarters, so the facility won't be fully up and running until February.
The building is located a block away from the old, dilapidated 5th precinct on Hunterdon and West Bigelow streets.
DeMaio said the idea to move police headquarters, currently located downtown on Green Street, came after he toured the new building in May. It's unclear what will happen to the downtown offices.