In 2015, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka launched his vision to consolidate Police, Firefighters, and Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security personnel under the newly created Department of Public Safety. The merger enhances public safety by making the operations of these essential services more efficient and effective. In 2022, Mayor Baraka tapped Fritz Fragé to serve as Newark’s Public Safety Director. He oversees nearly 2,000 city employees, including 1,100 police officers, 650 firefighters, and over 350 civilian employees, all dedicated to serving the residents and visitors of the City of Newark with the utmost in public safety excellence.
Meet The Mayor
The Honorable Mayor Ras J. Baraka
A native of Newark, whose family has lived in the City for more than 80 years, Mayor Baraka’s progressive approach to governing has won him accolades from grassroots organizations to the White House. With a forward-thinking agenda that reduced crime to its lowest levels in five decades, addressed affordability while maintaining steady growth, lowered unemployment, and returned local control of schools after more than two decades, Baraka has defied expectations since taking office in 2014.
Mayor Baraka’s futurist agenda has included the implementation of a groundbreaking partnership called Hire. Buy. Live. Newark, a program that marks the first time that any US city has sought to transform its economy by combining employment, procurement, and residential strategies.
As part of his commitment to strengthen Newark’s position in the expanded technology space, the City launched LinkNWK (pronounced Link Newark). This communications network of sidewalk kiosks provides Newark residents and visitors with free, gigabit Wi-Fi, mobile device charging, phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., access to municipal services, maps and directions, and real-time local information on city streets at no cost to taxpayers or users.
Mayor Baraka is also recognized nationally as a thought leader in the space of urban revitalization, and his commitment to reducing crime in Newark, reimagining public safety, tackling the city’s housing crisis, and developing innovative and community-driven approaches to eliminating income inequality has solidified his status as one of the country’s most progressive elected officials.
Mayor Baraka was educated in the Newark Public Schools. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a Master’s Degree in Education Supervision from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City. His father, the late Amiri Baraka, was a legendary poet and playwright. His mother, Amina Baraka, is herself a renowned poet. Doting husband, and father of three daughters and a son, Mayor Baraka is a published author and is well-regarded in the entertainment industry for his appearance on the Grammy-award winning album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in his authentic role as an educator, and for his EP “What We Want.”
Meet The Director
Fritz G. Fragé
Fritz G. Fragé is the Newark Public Safety Director, overseeing the City of Newark’s Police and Fire divisions, along with its Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. He has oversight of more than 1,000 sworn police officers, 650 firefighters, and over 350 civilian employees.
Previously, Director Fragé served as a 24-year veteran with the New Jersey State Police (NJSP), completing his tenure as Commander of the Investigations Branch.
He brings an expansive skillset to the Newark Police Division, including: operational, analytic, and intelligence expertise, including proficiency in cyber-crime, counter-terrorism, undercover operations, gun violence, homicide, drug enforcement, electronic surveillance, fugitive and missing persons, internet crimes against children, police-involved shootings, human trafficking, and more.
Director Fragé was instrumental in the establishment of three Real Time Crime Centers, including one housed at the Newark Police Headquarters, used to leverage partnerships and apply technology to provide real-time operational intelligence to the law enforcement community.
Earlier in his law enforcement career, Director Fragé served as an investigator with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, where he conducted nationally classified investigations of individuals actively engaged in domestic and/or international terrorism activities.
Director Fragé is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts Degree from Seton Hall University. He immigrated to the United States from Haiti in 1974 and is fluent in French (Creole).
Meet The Assistant Director
Rufus L. Jackson
Rufus L. Jackson is Newark Public Safety Director. A Newark native and a 21-year veteran firefighter, Jackson began his career in 1995, quickly moving up the ranks to Arson Detective in 2002, to Captain and Executive Officer of the Newark Arson Squad in 2004, and Captain/Company Officer in 2006.
Assistant Public Safety Jackson was appointed Battalion Fire Chief and Incident Commander/Operations Chief in 2009. Jackson was named Chief of Staff to the Fire Director in 2010. He was appointed Deputy Fire Chief in 2012 and became one of the youngest Newark Fire Division Deputy Chiefs in the history of the department at the age of 39. Eager to learn all the duties and responsibilities of his profession, Jackson was reassigned as a Field Tour Commander from 2013 to 2017. The year 2022 marks his 27th year of providing public service to the people of the City of Newark.
Jackson honed his stellar management and leadership skills through a successful blend of service, training and education. A graduate of Rutgers University’s New Jersey Certified Public Managers Program, Dillard University’s Executive Management Institute, and at Dale Carnegie’s Step Up to Leadership Training, Jackson has acquired an impressive list of certifications in Fire Suppression, Emergency Incidents, and Catastrophe training, including the University of Nevada’s Flammable Liquid Fire Training; the State of New Jersey’s Hazardous Technician Training; New Jersey Division of Fire Safety’s National Incident Management System Training and the International Association of Fire Fighters Frontline Safety Training. He is also a past Vice President of the Deputy Fire Chiefs Association.
Assistant Public Safety Director Jackson also serves as State Certified Level 1 instructor, Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) instructor, and is currently Vice President of New Jersey’s Deputy Fire Chief’s Association. Through his commitment to community service, Jackson also volunteers his time as a mentor and member at Essex County/Newark’s Chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and as a mentor in the Big Pictures Mentoring Program.
Assistant Public Safety Jackson and his wife, Sharaw, have been married for 19 years. They are the parents of two daughters, Miyah and Morgan Jackson. He is the proud son of his parents, Arneilia Jackson-Simpson of Newark, who worked for the City of Newark for 34 years in the municipal court. His father is Joseph Simpson, a retired Newark Police Officer, who retired in 1995 after 25 years of service.