New York Times: In Calmer Newark, the Unease Persists
John F. Timoney, the Miami police chief who helped bring the murder rate down in Philadelphia after he became police commissioner there in 1998, said in a telephone interview that more than a month without a homicide was no small achievement.
“You can have a statistical anomaly, for a week or 10 days. But 33 days — something good is going on,” he said.
But the chief, a former first deputy commissioner in New York where he served with Garry F. McCarthy, the Newark police director, added a note of caution. “Perception lags reality,” he said. “You have a high homicide rate, and you start to get it under control, but you suffer from the hangover of perception, and that lasts awhile.”
That lag is especially pronounced in neighborhoods here that have suffered longest from poverty, neglect, and as centers of the drug trade. Everyone in those neighborhoods has heard the shooting and, more often than not, can point to the spot of a recent killing.