Overseer of an office staffed with 155 federal prosecutors, U.S. Attorney of New Jersey Philip R. Sellinger acknowledges a significant public trust gap when it comes to government institutions.
His job, as he sees it?
“Part of my role as U.S. Attorney is to help build trust between communities and law enforcement,” Sellinger tells WMTR Host Jessie Frees in this episode of InsiderNJ Radio. “People don’t always like our answers, it may be outside our jurisdiction but they are entitled to U.S. Attorney [coming] before them. Our ultimate job is to represent the citizens of New Jersey.
In Jessie Frees’ exclusive wide-ranging InsiderNJ Radio interview with the U.S. Attorney, the President Joe Biden-appointee addresses a national scourge of gun violence, hate crimes, New Jersey’s unique law enforcement collaborative, his office’s first civil rights division, and drug crime, among other significant issues of the day.
“New Jersey is safer now than it was at this point last year,” Sellinger says. “Newark and Jersey City experienced significant reductions and are on pace to improve on those reductions this year.”
That said, “Every single shooting and act of violence is a tragedy. Gun violence is a major problem in New Jersey and across the country.”
Seelinger’s office undertook a violent crime initiative and speaks to this state’s “exceptional collaboration among government entities.”
He is particularly keen on combating New Jersey’s “alarming rise in hate crimes across the board.”
“America has made great strides but the work is unfinished,” says the creator of the first and largest civil rights division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office of New Jersey.
“We’ve redoubled our efforts to root out hate in New Jersey and have not hesitated to bring charges [against an individual who tossed a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue in Bloomfield, and another individual who made terrorist threats against a synagogue.”
Those issues and more can be heard below:
Editor’s Note: This interview first aired on WMTR on May 21st.
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