Newark and the Future of Crime Fighting
BusinessWeek picks up on the tech enforcement meme kicked off by TechCrunch editor Mike Arrington. This upbeat piece connects the dots between crime prevention and economic development. (Hat tip to Bill Chappel for the link)
Already though, the business community is beginning to throw its weight behind Booker’s plan. In August, Newark scored a big win when London-based Standard Chartered Bank (STAN.L) opened a new office downtown that will hold more than 500 employees. Inspired by the mayor’s vision, financial executives, such as New York hedge fund operator William Ackman, have financed some of the new technologies that the city can’t afford because of its $180 million budget deficit. And the Newark offices of big companies such as Verizon Communications (VZ), AT&T (T), Cablevision Systems (CVC), Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG), and Continental Airlines (CAL) are beginning to hire more residents from the city.
Audible.com, a subsidiary of Amazon.com (AMZN), is one of the companies that has jumped on the Mayor’s bandwagon. Last March the company moved its headquarters and 165 employees out of Wayne, N.J., and into a 50,000-square-foot office in downtown Newark. Don Katz, Audible.com’s founder and CEO, says the space is 50% cheaper than Manhattan real estate. And even though Katz expected Newark’s reputation to scare away some employees, not one worker has left since the move. “For a long time, I thought it would be great if we could serve our shareholders and be part of an urban renaissance,” says Katz. “All in all, it’s been a complete win.”
For more on the success of the police camera system in Newark, check out the TechCrunch interview with Mayor Booker.