Meanwhile, in Jersey…

As Philly leads nationwide murder drop, the Garden State heads in the other direction.

Philly, along with Chicago and New York, has been a major crime success story this year, with the murder rate dropping 25%. New Jersey, on the other hand…

Driven by unprecedented bloodshed in Trenton and the most violent 12-month stretch in Newark in nearly a quarter-century, homicides across New Jersey jumped to a seven-year high in 2013, a spike prosecutors and police officials tied to understaffed departments and a growing disregard for life.

In total, 409 people were murdered. More details:

More than a quarter of those killings took place in Newark, where a spate of Christmas season slayings pushed the homicide total to 111, including one in the final hours of the year. The tally is the highest since 1990. In Trenton, the number of homicides soared to 37, the most in the state capital’s recorded history.

Here’s hoping for a better 2014. And here’s wondering if this sort of bad press affects Chris Christie, as he ramps up his likely presidential run. [Star-Ledger]