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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:53 AM

Chris Christie Pushes Camden Police Force To Disband, Despite Questions Over New Plan's Finances

Source: Huffington Post

CAMDEN, N.J. -- On a cold autumn night, Darran Johnson, 22, stands by the police tape strung between two trees in the housing complex where he lives with his mom and siblings. On a walkway 20 feet away, a middle-aged man lies dead, shot in the throat and head, sprawled on his back beside a battered 10-speed bicycle. His face is masked in blood that gleams bright red in the crime scene photographer's flash. Johnson watches tight-lipped as investigators comb the grass for shell casings. "Kids play out here. Average people live here," he says. "I'm shaking. It's getting too close."

Gunfire rings out often in the neighborhood, he says, a regular reminder of the crime wave that has this city of 77,000 on pace to double its homicides in just three years, and shatter a nearly 20-year record for killings. With 59 homicides so far this year, the murder rate is on par with levels seen in Haiti in the chaotic aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. "A bullet has no name. If somebody shoots and I'm walking, I could be hit," Johnson says. "People are afraid right now. You can see it in their faces."

The crime surge coincides with new census data identifying Camden, long battered by vanishing industry, as the most impoverished city in the U.S., with 42 percent of residents under the poverty line, and an average family income of $21,191. If trends persist, Camden may soon hold the grim title of both the country's poorest and most dangerous city. As residents decry the violence, local leaders are readying a radical plan that they call the only practical solution at hand to calm the streets: the dismantling of the Camden Police Department and the outsourcing of policing to a new, cheaper force run by the county government, to be called the Camden Metro Division. They say the closure of the 141-year-old department and the creation of a new agency is necessary because the existing union-negotiated police contract is no longer sustainable in a time of deep budget deficits.

The plan was sold to Camden residents as a security fix: by firing the existing police force, they were told, millions of savings would be redirected into hiring about 130 new uniformed officers -- a 50 percent increase over current staffing. "It's time to reject the status quo and ramp this police department up to a level that it needs," Thomas Capelli, director of the Camden County Board of Freeholders, which would control the metro agency, tells The Huffington Post.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/19/chris-christie-camden-police_n_2025372.html



The Union busting weather balloon must go.

16 replies, 3280 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Chris Christie Pushes Camden Police Force To Disband, Despite Questions Over New Plan's Finances (Original post)
onehandle Nov 2012 OP
pam4water Nov 2012 #1
oldbanjo Nov 2012 #2
Little Star Nov 2012 #8
mac56 Nov 2012 #12
onehandle Nov 2012 #15
AzDar Nov 2012 #3
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #4
cstanleytech Nov 2012 #10
greymattermom Nov 2012 #5
FarCenter Nov 2012 #9
6502 Nov 2012 #6
blueclown Nov 2012 #7
cstanleytech Nov 2012 #11
panAmerican Nov 2012 #16
TreasonousBastard Nov 2012 #13
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #14

Response to onehandle (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:40 AM

1. Wow something to think about for all the Pundits out there saying Chris Christie will save the Repub

the republicans.

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Response to pam4water (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:03 AM

2. Underpaid Police will be as bad as the criminal in short order.

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Response to oldbanjo (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:32 AM

8. +1

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Response to oldbanjo (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:16 AM

12. +2

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Response to oldbanjo (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:18 PM

15. Agreed. I'm thinking of getting a police costume, going across the river, and shaking someone down.

Why not beat the rush?



Kidding.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:17 AM

3. K & R

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:17 AM

4. Camden got rid of its firefighters a year or so ago

Union busting at its finest.

Camden will be like Bladerunner soon.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:05 AM

10. Well dismantling the police in this case actually might make sense.

Why? Well there was a thread started back in Sept. about an article over this and in it they said and I quote

"every day, nearly 30 percent of the force does not show up. (A typical rate elsewhere is in the single digits.)"

If the above is true then the union it would appear has failed in making sure its members were showing up to do the job the union said they would do for the benefits and pay they were receiving.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:24 AM

5. You have to go through Camden to get to the shore

Next thing you know there will be unauthorized toll booths.

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:05 AM

9. Camden is on the Delaware across from Philly, nowhere near the shore.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:58 AM

6. I lived in a neighborhood like that...

... the police were ineffective.

Myself and other families joined community civic organizations to try to combat it.

The police really just let things fester.
The drug sellers and customers and the violence and gangs that comes with it spread.
There were break-ins. I even found my back door had been busted into.

And about the civic organizations... one was organized by a fellow we thought was a real neighbor... I happened to do research on who owned what houses and was renting out what houses. In the research I discovered a single operation that was buying up tons of houses... owned a lot... and was renting them to the druggies and gangs.

And the fellow leading that civic organization... I found he was connected to them.

Soon after that many families sold their homes and left.

I still remember the Puerto Rican fellow and his wife and 2 kinds... we both had similar houses.

We both were really into that organization.

And... even after a big bust, I got word from people that before the cops came in and closed of the street for the raid, that the sellers in the houses on the street were leaving the houses and heading down the street together.

Then all of the girlfriends left with all of their kids down the street in the same direction.

When the cops came, it were the low peons who were scrambling into the streets and getting caught.

After a few days, the gangs returned to the houses.

I wish we could have dumped our police force.

After I left the town... then left America... all through that time, thing kept getting worse.
Killing were happening like daily.
Their were homes going up in flames.

Finally, the FEDs moved in and took control of everything.

It as necessary.
These gangs and drug sellers had infected lots of towns. Daily killings had become normal.

Now, things are not so bad.
There are still killings. But not so many like before.

Yeah... if I were in Camden, I'd take that deal, too.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:17 AM

7. The poverty is the biggest issue.

Does Christie want to work on that, or is this just a convenient excuse to bust a union?

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Response to blueclown (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:11 AM

11. I think the police gave the city the best excuse if you would research it because

according to what I read they are or were having a huge problem with and I quote "every day, nearly 30 percent of the force does not show up. (A typical rate elsewhere is in the single digits.)"
Now you tell me, if 30 police officers screw over 70 other police officers by not showing up for their shifts every day how exactly are the police to enforce the law and keep crime down and how is that fair to the citizens themselves who are the ones paying the police officers?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:40 PM

16. The situation is even worse than that!

The new plan calls to double the current workforce to about 130 cops. That means they have roughly 65 officers now, so at a 30% absenteeism rate, only 45 cops a day can be reliably counted on to patrol a large city. Some days HALF of them call in sick. This is insanity, and a fresh start is warranted.

Given that the rest of the state injects some $60 million in the county already, I think they should have at least 300 cops to start giving the peaceful residents some peace of mind.

Otherwise, their taxbase will continue to erode, and no one who has a choice will want to live, work or open a business there.

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Response to blueclown (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:31 AM

13. It is, but any suggestions how to deal with it? Campbell's Soup and...

other large employers left long ago and every Governor since has tried to come up with a solution.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:00 PM

14. Ah, back to being his usual asshole self.

So much for the new born again christie.

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