In spite of a reputation as one of the most dangerous cities in America, Camden, N.J. is reportedly starting a process that will eventually dissolve the existing police department. The dissolution of the department will rob close to 270 police officers of their jobs.
Although there are rumors of budget cuts, critics are accusing the Camden officials of dissolving the police department as part of a plan to get rid of the union. The alleged plan would be to then form a new police department, with the remaining officers, that are not part of a union, forming a new non-union division of the Camden County Police department.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the layoff plan was designed by Camden Mayor, Dana L. Reed, who’s plans were to make sure that the approximately 270 police offers who are being laid off would all have left the force no later than December 31st of this year. As part of the plan, while the officers who are laid off are leaving, the remaining officers, who would be part of the county force, would be in field training.
The county force would serve only Camden and could begin doing so as early as October.
The crime rate in Camden is reportedly so severe that police officers do not even bother to respond when they deem crimes to be minor. The problem is that crimes like auto theft and vandalism are considered minor.
Camden, N.J. is consistently ranked among the 10 most dangerous cities in the U.S.