Nov 10, 2014 View All News

Believe in Newark: Mayor Baraka’s Town Hall on Public Safety at NJPAC


Wednesday, December 3
Victoria Theater

First of four Town Halls on citizen issues;

Mayor will outline public safety initiatives and take audience questions at free event;

Rutgers Associate Dean Marcia Wilson Brown will moderate;

Town Halls will be recorded for re-broadcast

Newark, NJ – (November 10, 2014) – Mayor Ras J. Baraka and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) have partnered on a series of four Town Halls which will focus on public safety, economic development, education and health. The first Town Hall will address the topic of public safety and will be held at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater on Wednesday, December 3, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Town Hall is free and open to the public.


At the Town Hall, Mayor Baraka will discuss public safety concerns with community experts in a panel discussion moderated by Rutgers University-Newark Vice Chancellor for External and Governmental Relations Marcia Wilson Brown. After the discussion, there will be a question and answer session with attendees. The programs will be recorded for re-broadcast by NWK-TV Government Access Channel and WBGO 88.3FM, Newark Public Radio.


Panelists scheduled to join the Mayor are as follows:


  • Newark Police Director Eugene Venable
  • Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray
  • Rutgers University-Newark Provost Todd R. Clear, former Dean of the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice


“Holding these Town Halls at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center increases our efforts to reach out to everyone that Newark impacts in the City and beyond,” Mayor Baraka said. “Public safety in Newark is just as important for our residents as it is for our commuters and visitors. All of them expect and demand a high level of public safety and my administration is committed to providing that. This dialogue at NJPAC will enable us to work together to better transform Newark into a City that we can all believe in.”


According to NJPAC CEO and President John Schreiber, “The opportunity for the Mayor to speak to citizens in a direct and unfiltered way is what our democracy is all about. NJPAC is proud to host these important gatherings.”


Some of the subjects that the Mayor will discuss include:


Deploying 72 percent of the Police Department’s manpower on the City’s streets
The new Community Roll Calls and Neighborhood Walks the Mayor has inaugurated to reach out to residents
The Urban Mayors’ Roundtable initiative, launched this summer, spearheaded by Mayor Baraka, Paterson Mayor Joey Torres, and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. This initiative unites New Jersey municipalities to work together to address both crime and its causes, by sharing “best practices.” At the first Roundtable, 17 municipalities attended, along with county, state, and federal agencies.
The City’s responsibility to maintain public safety in the context of being home to a leading international airport and seaport. This requires Newark to work with state, bi-state, and federal agencies to address issues of potential terrorism, smuggling, and public health.
Working to prevent crime, by addressing its causes. These include Re-entry programs for ex-offenders; employment, education, and training programs for at-risk youth; and meetings with gang members to offer them alternatives to gang life.


The Town Hall is the first of four such events the Mayor and NJPAC will hold. Register via our online link: The schedule and subjects for the remaining Town Halls are as follows:


  • February 11, 2015:            Economic Development
  • April 29, 2015:                  Education
  • June 8, 2015:                     Health


About Eugene Venable

Eugene Venable is the current Newark Police Director. He started his career with the Newark Police Department in 1996 as a police officer in the West District. In 2002, Director Venable was promoted to Sergeant. In February 2003, he was transferred to the Inspections Unit of the Office of the Police Director and from there moved to the FBI Drug and Gang Task Force. In 2004, he became an investigator in Internal Affairs where he remained until becoming the Operations Sergeant in the 5th Precinct.


In 2006 he was promoted Lieutenant. In May 2011, Captain Venable became the Commander of the 5th Precinct. During his tenure, from 2011 to 2013, until being named Director of Police, crime dropped in the South Ward three years consecutively. Complaints by citizens decreased as well as complaints by officers to the union by 50%. Captain Venable was awarded the Chief of Police's Commander's Award in 2013.


Director Venable holds an Associate's Degree from Essex County College, a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from New Jersey City University, a Master's Degree in Government and Non-Profit Administration from Fairleigh Dickerson University. He has also attended the University of Virginia and trained at FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute for Police.


About Carolyn A. Murray

Carolyn A. Murray was sworn in as Acting Essex County Prosecutor in 2011. Murray first joined the law firm of Tompkins, McGuire & Wachenfeld in Newark, after graduation from law school. In 1988, she became an Assistant Prosecutor in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. During the next seven years in Essex County, she tried criminal cases in the Superior Court of New Jersey, including homicide, sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence and aggravated assault cases.


In 1995, she joined the United States Attorney’s Office, where she continued to try criminal cases, conducted narcotics wiretap investigations, coordinated multi-agency enforcement initiatives and served as Violent Crime Coordinator. In 2002, she was named Chief of the Public Prosecution Unit. Murray returned to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in 2003, when she was offered the opportunity to serve as First Assistant Prosecutor with then Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow. In January 2010 Murray served as Counsel to Attorney General Paula Dow. She received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. and her law degree from New York University School of Law.


About Todd R. Clear

Todd R. Clear is Provost at Rutgers University-Newark, where he previously had been Dean of the School of Criminal Justice. He received a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from The University at Albany. Clear has also held professorships at Ball State University, Florida State University (where he was also Associate Dean of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice) and John Jay College of Criminal Justice (where he held the rank of Distinguished Professor).


He has authored 13 books and over 100 articles and book chapters. His most recent book is The Punishment Imperative, by NYU Press. Clear has also written on community justice, correctional classification, prediction methods in correctional programming, community-based correctional methods, intermediate sanctions, and sentencing policy. He is currently involved in studies of the criminological implications of “place,” and the economics of justice reinvestment.


Clear has served as president of The American Society of Criminology, The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and The Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice. His work has been recognized through several awards, including those of the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, The Rockefeller School of Public Policy, the American Probation and Parole Association, the American Correctional Association, and the International Community Corrections Association. He was the founding editor of the journal Criminology & Public Policy, published by the American Society of Criminology.


About Marcia W. Brown

Marcia Wilson Brown is Vice Chancellor for External and Governmental Relations at Rutgers University – Newark, a position in which she forges and maintains relationships on behalf of the university with public officials, governmental agencies, and civic groups.  She has spent over 15 years in higher education at Rutgers University-Newark, holding positions as vice chancellor for Student and Community Affairs, associate dean and director of the Academic Foundations, and associate dean of the Rutgers School of Law-Newark Minority Student Program.


Brown is an alumna of the Rutgers law school.  She clerked for Chief Justice Robert Wilentz, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and was admitted to practice in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, U.S. Federal District Courts  (Eastern Districts, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit), and the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown is involved with research, teaching, and civic engagement activities at Rutgers.  She helped to expand the Office of University-Community Partnerships; engaged funders as partners for access and retention programs for students from Newark and from first-generation families; and served as a consultant and adjunct with the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience. She also teaches a seminar annually focused on social justice and health disparities.


Brown has spent more than 30 years in community development advocacy in Newark, working on housing, education, and nonprofit leadership issues, and been very active with the Lucent Foundation. Brown has been recognized on numerous occasions for her contributions to young people and the quality of life in Newark.



The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.  NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.  Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts.  NJPAC has attracted nearly 9 million visitors (including more than 1 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.  Visit or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.


About Newark

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