Gov. Chris Christie outlines plan to reduce blight in Trenton, New Jersey

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Christie outlines plan to reduce blight in Trenton. Nora Muchanic reports during Action News at 4:30pm on May 30, 2017. (WPVI)

Gov. Chris Christie has announced his plan to eliminate blighted properties in the city of Trenton, hoping the effort will stabilize neighborhoods, make the city safer and promote redevelopment.

There are some 3,000 abandoned houses that attract crime and drugs in the city.

"They are abandoned, you don't know who's hiding in there at night," said Bernice Beckford.

But with $11.5 million from the state, Christie announced a program to begin knocking down the first 500 of these vacant properties.

"It's unacceptable to me to leave office without starting to make aggressive efforts to turn around the city that has such enormous potential for the future and such an extraordinary history," he said.

"Instead of taking down one house here, one house there, we can focus on whole blocks at this point," said Mayor Eric Jackson.

The governor also says New Jersey state police will provide money and technical assistance to add 150 more surveillance cameras around the city.

"It's the eye in the sky and, unfortunately, sometimes that's what we need we are you're lacking witnesses. The cameras really help immensely and it's huge for us," said Police Director Ernie Parrey.

The governor has instructed the Board of Public Utilities to evaluate the city's 5,000 street lights and improve them, especially in high crime areas.

The Attorney General's Shooting Response Team will be activated to help police handle investigations, freeing up officers for street patrol.

"What we are offering Trenton, and what we've promised to provide, is assistance for unsolved murders and unsolved shootings," said NJ Attorney General Christopher Porrino.

Neighbors are reacting to the improvement effort and what this will mean.

"If they knock them down and bring more houses, I guess it'll make the city a little bit better," said Kayron Stevens.

"I'm sure it can make a difference, we just hope it happens," said Jessica Uveges. "We really do."

New Jersey transit police will also increase patrols around the transit center to assist local police.

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