Two Camden Killings End Year On A Fatal Note

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CAMDEN, NJ — Two men were killed Tuesday in Camden in what authorities said appeared to be a drug-related shooting.

They became the city’s 56th and 57th homicide victims of 2013, pushing the homicide rate to the second-highest level on record and the number of victims to its third-highest level. In 2012, 67 people were slain.

Around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to a house on the 700 block of Division Street, also known as Ramona Gonzalez Street, in the Bergen Square neighborhood.

They found Jorge Chavis, 31, and James Anderson, 23, dead from gunshot wounds, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140101_2_shot_dead_in_Camden.html#uxyK08fKAQjQsho0.99

Road Flooding Leads To Rescues In Southeastern PA And New Jersey

Stranded motorists needed rescue from flooded roads this morning, as heavy rains caused havoc around the area, disrupting airport and SEPTA service.

Montgomery County reported about 30 calls to assist motorists from vehicles on flooded roads, with about eight to 10 involving threateningly high water, according to a 911 supervisor. No injuries were reported.

Stranded cars were also reported in Southampton, Bucks County; Gloucester City, Camden County; and Woodbury and Deptford, Gloucester County, according to the Breaking News Network, a tip service.

Part of a roof collapsed at the Virtua Center for Health & Wellness in Washington Township, Gloucester County, spurring evacuation of the building.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/Thunderstorms_bring_tornado_alert.html#70IEl9w79bJ7LSrU.99

Study Confirms Poverty Hits The Suburbs, Too

Say poverty in the Philadelphia area, and it conjures images of North Philadelphia or Kensington, not the suburbs.

But the suburbs on both sides of the Delaware River are becoming steadily poorer, part of a national trend that confounds long-held beliefs that life is always better in greener pastures beyond urban limits.

“People have this cliched notion of poverty being based in the inner city,” said Adele LaTourette, director of the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, which has offices in Trenton and North Jersey.  “But it’s been moving into suburbia for some time.

“No one wants to think that their neighbors are becoming poor.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20130520_Study_confirms_poverty_hits_the_suburbs__too.html#jtGAhiCISV3muuo1.99

Camden Takes First Step In Laying Off Entire Police Department

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd submitted a plan this afternoon to the state Civil Service Commission to lay off the city’s entire police department, paving the way for a county-run force.

A source knowledgeable about the matter said no layoffs would occur until the new department has at least 250 officers patrolling the streets of Camden.

Once fully operational, the county force is expected to number about 400 – about 140 more officers than are on the present city police force.

Camden County officials, citing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, yesterday extended their deadline for receiving applications for the new force by six weeks to Jan. 15.  They have said they would only rehire up to 49 percent of the current roster so that the terms of the existing union contract do not extend to the new department.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121129_Camden_takes_first_step_in_laying_off_entire_police_department.html

Camden Agrees To Regional Police Force

Map of New Jersey highlighting Camden County

Image via Wikipedia

All I can say is it’s about time!

Camden Mayor Dana Redd announced today that she was moving forward with a county takeover of the city’s police force following a recent spike in crime that has prompted questions about the city’s ability to police itself.

The announcement followed months of silence on the subject of whether Camden would enter into a policing agreement with Camden County, which has been pushing the creation of a regionalized police force spanning the suburbs and the city since early this year.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20111209_Camden_agrees_to_regional_police_force.html?ref=twtter.com

Rutgers Students Pay It Forward On The Mean Streets Of North Camden

Camden

Image via Wikipedia

A joint effort between Rutgers University students, the Camden District Council Collaborative Board and Angel Osorio, community justice director in the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is aimed at cleaning up and improving pubic safety in one of Camden’s most notorious neighborhoods. 

North Camden is a crime-ridden neighborhood that needs a lot of help.  Rutgers students have enrolled themselves in a class to replace burnt out street lights, remove graffiti and clean up 23 alleys.  This is not a class for the faint of heart.  Checking the street lights means driving around one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the county looking for burnt out street lights, in the dark.

In a twelve block area, 16 out of 47 street lights were out.  Lighting up Camden will reduce crime.  PSE&G is notified of the broken lights and tries to fix them as quickly as possible.  The lighting project also includes finding funding so that residents can install and pay for porch lights (Fifth Ward Councilor Dan Weand has suggested this very idea for Pottstown).  Unfortunately in Camden, street lights are vandalized according to PSE&G.

This class came about as a result of Rutgers officials working with community members who are trying to carry out the North Camden Neighborhood Plan.  The class’s instructor, Lt. Daniel Howard, is a 24-year veteran of the Mount Laurel police department.  Rutgers-Camden’s new chancellor, Wendell Pritchett, wants his campus to be a national model for a civically engaged university.

Rutgers new director of civic engagement, Andrew Seligshon stated Rutgers sees itself as an anchor institution in Camden.  The university wants to attract good students and faculty members.  North Camden residents want a safer, more attractive neighborhood and better schools.  By partnering together, everybody wins! 

I wish I had more than two thumbs to put up!  Talk about teaching social responsibility!  Awesome program and kudos to all involved.

This Is Just Pathetic!

A 72-year-old Cherry Hill, NJ grandmother is in the Camden County jail on three counts of conspiracy and $300,000.00 bail.  Evidently Mom-Mom tried to unknowingly hire an undercover police officer to “inflict serious bodily injury” on her ex-husband, son and daughter.  The neighbors were not surprised and said this situation has been brewing for 30 years.  Police also have a large file on Mom-Mom (say it ain’t so Joe).

Nothing said lovin’ like puttin’ out a contract for a beat-down on your children and ex-husband. 

Lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!