Atlantic City, New Jersey - In the heart of New Jersey, a narrative of loss, resilience, and collective action unfolds. The tragic death of Sequoya Bacon-Jones, a young girl taken too soon by a stray bullet, stands as a profound rallying cry in the battle against gun crime. This event has galvanized the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) and the Hackensack Police Department, alongside their peers, to forge ahead with renewed determination toward safer communities.
The I-95 Working Group conference, convened in Atlantic City, New Jersey, exemplified this commitment. Bringing together law enforcement leaders, nongovernmental organizations, and academics from across the nation, the conference was a melting pot of strategies and insights aimed at combatting gun violence. Inspired by Sequoya's story, attendees were reminded of the deeply human aspect of their work and the critical importance of their mission.
NJSP's Colonel Patrick Callahan shared the impactful bodycam footage from the day Sequoya was struck, a moment that continues to drive him and his colleagues towards meaningful change. The conference transcended mere tactical discussions, focusing instead on the 'why' behind each action—the protection of human life.
During the conference, Hackensack's Police Director, Ray Guidetti, along with Lieutenant Colonel Joe Brennan of the NJSP Investigations Branch, elaborated on the law enforcement approach to reducing gun violence. They highlighted the importance of integrating crime gun intelligence into their operations.
Director Guidetti, referencing the insights shared, emphasized, "Our goal was to reduce the number of people shot in New Jersey. Not to increase gun apprehensions."
This statement underscores the focused approach of New Jersey's law enforcement on saving lives and preventing violence, rather than merely boosting arrest numbers.
In a poignant moment of the conference, the work of Pete Gagliardi, a renowned expert on gun crime intelligence, was highlighted through a pre-recorded presentation. His best practices underscored the importance of comprehensive information gathering, inter-agency collaboration, and the utilization of technology in tracing crime guns and reducing gun violence, serving as a cornerstone for many of the strategies discussed.
The diverse co-hosts of the event, including the New York Police Department, the New Jersey State Police and the Urban Area Security Initiative of New Jersey, further emphasized innovative approaches to crime gun intelligence. They spotlighted the necessity of community engagement, rapid evidence processing, and cross-border collaboration to effectively track and prevent gun violence.
The conference, held at the end of January 2024, also showcased a range of innovative initiatives from various jurisdictions, such as social media observation posts and the Peaceful Neighborhoods Initiative. These discussions not only offered a glimpse into the future of policing but also demonstrated the power of technology and community policing in creating safer, more resilient communities.
Reflecting on the I-95 Working Group conference, it's evident that Sequoya Bacon-Jones's legacy extends beyond tragedy. It inspires a united front in the battle against gun crime, where law enforcement agencies, communities, and policymakers come together to enact meaningful change. The NJSP, Hackensack Police Department, and their partners across the nation are leading the charge, with Sequoya as their North Star, guiding their efforts to ensure a safer tomorrow for all.
To read the original news article, visit Lexipol’s Police1.com website. For more information on the ATF’s NIBIN program and its impact on crime-solving, visit ATF NIBIN. To learn more about IBIS, the technology that underpins the NIBIN program and allows local law enforcement agencies to access NIBIN and leverage its investigative potential, visit IBIS Access.