In Camden, Christie Hails New Force

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of Ne...

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gov. Christie came to Camden Wednesday to hail the advent of a new county-run police force in the city as “a transformational moment for both the city of Camden and Camden County – most importantly for the people, the children, the families, and the neighborhoods that they live in.”

Christie, an early supporter of the new Camden County Police, which Wednesday replaced the nearly 184-year-old city police department, said it would lead to “better, stronger, more effective, more visible law enforcement.”

Flanked by the new department’s leadership, the governor spoke at the swearing-in ceremony for former city Police Chief Scott Thomson, the new chief of the city’s metro division, in Malandra Hall, a community center in the Fairview Village section.

Before Christie’s remarks, more than a dozen former city officers gathered outside.  Some carried signs indicating their years of service and made a symbolic line on the street with their patrolman’s boots in a neat row. One retired sergeant said the group had come to attend the ceremony but was told it was a private event.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20130502_Camden_Council_approves_county_police_agreement.html

New Camden Police Force Hits Streets

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)

Editor’s note:  Do you think they are aiming for a 1 – 2 percent decrease in crime for the first year like Pottstown is????

In a community center in Camden’s Parkside neighborhood, two dozen officers stood at attention in rows of twos and threes, their hands clasped, staring stone-faced – an unusual show of force not far from a drug hot spot.

The officers, all newly minted, were the prime exhibit in a show-and-tell Monday, presented as the first batch of a new county-run force to hit the city’s streets.

Outside the building on the 1100 block of Haddon Avenue, more than a dozen police cars and SUVs with a new logo – “Camden County Police” – blocked the street.

“I thought somebody got killed. That’s the only time I see that much police in this area,” said LeRoy Ryan, 33, as he stood on the porch of his brother’s house across the street.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20130409_New_Camden_police_force_hits_streets.html

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

Pew Charitable Trust Survey – How Suburbanites View Philadelphia

This is a very interesting survey on what residents of Philadelphia’s PA and NJ suburbs think of the city.  It’s worth a few minutes to read over:

http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_report_detail.aspx?id=62459

Camden Layoffs Become Reality

Census Bureau map of Camden, New Jersey

Image via Wikipedia

After months of talking about layoffs and balancing the budget, Camden now has far fewer municipal employees.  168 police, 67 firefighters and 100 other city workers were let go last week. (That represents about 25% of the city’s employees)  This is an effort to close Camden’s $26.5 million dollar budget deficit. (For a point of reference, Norristown’s entire 2011 budget is $25.5 million dollars).

The good news is that no spike in crime has occurred, yet.  However, as one astute online commenter pointed out, wait until summer.  It is too cold out now and people are staying indoors.  This summer, when it hot and people are outside, things will get dicey.  There is certainly something to be said for that theory.

Camden can not be compared to other suburbs their size.  Generally, suburbs do not have the inner city problems that Camden does.  Camden is certainly in a class by itself when you study their demographics and crime statistics.  The crime rate and abject poverty are startling. 

Another well made point was that Camden is not an island.  It is surrounded with other suburbs and criminals are not stopped by the city line.  Not good news for Camden’s affluent neighbors like Cherry Hill and Haddonfield, to name a few.           

Let us hope that a solution can be found to resolve Camden’s budget problems before the warmer weather hits!