Coming to a City Near You | Camden, NJ – America’s Deadliest City Disbands Police Force and Fires 270 Cops Over Budget Crisis

ZeroHedge – America’s Deadliest And Poorest City Set To Disband Its Entire Police Force Over Budget Crisis

AP reports:

This city, long among the nation’s poorest and most crime-ridden, is on the verge of dismantling its police department and starting anew with a force run by the county government.

City officials are making the move to increase the number of officers while keeping the cost the same by averting rules negotiated with a union that city officials have seen as unwilling to compromise.

Unless the union – which is skeptical of the stated motivations for the change – reaches a deal with the county, no more than 49 per cent of the city’s current officers could join the new force and those that do will get pay cuts.

John Wilson, a 57-year-old unemployed baker who’s lived in the city his whole life, thinks it’s worth a try.

‘The police in Camden clearly haven’t been doing their job,’ he said last week as he walked to his home in the Parkside neighborhood, which has seen six homicides since the start of 2011.

‘Any change has to be better. It can’t get worse now.’

Oh yes it can. Here’s why:

Officials say there are about 170 drug markets operating in this city of 77,000 near Philadelphia, more than 700 people on parole and 600 registered sex offenders.

The murder rate is unthinkably high. In 2007, Newark attracted national attention for a record number of homicides.

As of Friday, there had been 47 murders this year. The city record of 58 was set in 1995.

One can only hope this is not a harbinger of what is coming to all American cash flow, not money dilution ability, ends. Sadly, for Camden there is no more hope.

The city has the nation’s highest poverty rate with more than two residents in five living in poverty, census data show.

The big factories that once made Camden an industrial boomtown have been gone for a generation.

Over the past decade, revitalization efforts focused on expanding hospitals and universities, which brought some life to downtown but had a less discernible effect on neighborhoods where even the best-kept blocks have abandoned homes.

The city expects only $25 million of its $150 million next proposed budget to come from property taxes. Most of the rest is supplied by state aid – and that’s declining.

Think massive ECB bailouts, which in the US are far more streamlined. As for the local residents who still are paying property taxes, it may be prudent to just take your real estate losses and move on. Or else…

In January 2011, the city government conducted massive layoffs, including nearly half the police department and about one-third of the firefighters.

Since then, all the laid-off public safety workers have been called back, but their numbers have fallen through attrition.

Now, there are 270 police officers, down from 450 in 2005 and 368 the day before the layoffs.

Police Chief Scott Thomson, who is slated to lead the Camden County Police Department’s Metro Division, points to crime statistics for the two years before the layoffs that showed the crime declining.

He says it’s because of intensive community policing efforts that came about when detectives were reassigned from desk jobs to patrols and the force was able to be more proactive.

With the smaller force, he said, walking and biking beats are used more sparingly.

In the meantime, the local cops are all preparing to bail as entitlement funding runs out

The Fraternal Order of Police lodge that represents Camden’s rank-and-file officers is upset that they have not been presented with a formal plan.

Cappelli says officers in the new department would have base salaries that are the same or higher than what they make now – ranging from $31,000 for a rookie to about $80,000.

Officers’ health insurance contributions would increase, and officers would also lose longevity and shift differential payments that combined can boost their pay up to 22 per cent.

The plan is to start hiring for the new force in October and have a mix of city and county police patrol the city during a training period before shutting down the city department sometime in the first few months of 2013.

Full report from the AP here…


6 Responses to “Coming to a City Near You | Camden, NJ – America’s Deadliest City Disbands Police Force and Fires 270 Cops Over Budget Crisis”
  1. Poof says:

    You would be surprised how many people can not put 2 & 2 together,meaning the banks are driving realestate values down with their fraudclosures ! Therefore less of a tax base for basic services. When are people going to wake up to whats really going on? The banks make millions the average taxpayer is get screwed !

  2. MARIO KENNY says:

    so now all those cops will bring their criminal knowledge and put it to work.

  3. Sarah says:

    Militarized public servants in the upscale neighborhoods will beat down small time crooks. The riff-raff are generally fully supportive of the police, even when questions of abuse, corruption or other illegal behavior are raised. They must assume they aren’t going to be the ones billy clubbed, evicted or harrassed – that’s reserved for “bad” folks, protestors, complainers, people who have issues with Banks, deadbeats or sometimes for people who just happen to be poor. Meanwhile Banks destroy their neighborhoods with predatory lending, lie in their court houses, continue their anti-social destruction like an armed gang of pick pockets – but they don’t see any justice.

  4. David Robert says:

    Perhaps some of those cops will find out what its like to be on the other end of a foreclosure, this could be a real shift in truth and consciousness. A little education amongst cops could prove to be very beneficial.

  5. stripes says:

    Bankrupting the private sector for the insolvent debt created by the perps of the FED is their weapon of financial mass destruction these IMPOSTERS are using to create complete communism. Accept no fixes for fraud America….We need to sue these crooks nationwide.

  6. 1ofthemany says:

    this should be very interesting indeed!! Have lived in one of the highest crime cities for decades my self!!!
    thinking here…is it a plot?
    or is it something else?
    think out of the box people! do not forget the ongoing psychobabble we are fed. (not here form what I have seen)
    r u armed if it comes your way? do you know how and when to use ur weapon if you are armed, do you have more than one type of defense, all senses on board.
    so many questions
    ALL power needs to go to the state and the local counties and sheriffs, do not forget the sheriffs took an oath, check it out here CSPOA …is your sheriff on the list mine isn’t so heads up again for my county!!
    We ain’t done for yet people.
    Keep the faith and ammo.
    Peace to all

Leave a Reply