Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/24/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In a desperate bid to regain law and order, police positions will be run by county

Among America's poorest and most crime-ridden cities, Camden, New Jersey is on the verge of dismantling its police department. City officials hope to start fresh with a new force run by the county government.

Revitalization efforts over the past 10 years focused on expanding hospitals and universities, which brought some life to downtown but had a less discernible effect on neighborhoods. Even the best-kept blocks have abandoned homes.

Revitalization efforts over the past 10 years focused on expanding hospitals and universities, which brought some life to downtown but had a less discernible effect on neighborhoods. Even the best-kept blocks have abandoned homes.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/24/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Camden, New Jersey, police force, corruption, drugs


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Unless the union reaches a deal with the county, no more than 49 percent of the city's current officers could join the new force, with pay cuts.

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

Camden's murder rate is shocking. Newark attracted national attention for a record number of homicides in 2007. Newark's murder rate that year - 37 per 100,000 residents - was still well below Camden's 53 per 100,000 that year.

There have been 47 murders reported this year. The city record of 58 was set in 1995. Two recent killings have become tragic symbols of the drugs and violence that plague Camden. Two children, ages 2 and 6, were killed allegedly by people authorities believe were high on PCP, aka "angel dust."

Camden has the nation's highest poverty rate with more than two residents in five living in poverty. The big factories that once made Camden an industrial boom town have been gone for more than 25 years.

Revitalization efforts over the past 10 years focused on expanding hospitals and universities, which brought some life to downtown but had a less discernible effect on neighborhoods. Even the best-kept blocks have abandoned homes.

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

All the laid-off public safety workers have since been called back, but their numbers have fallen through attrition. In this once bustling city, there are only 270 police officers, down from 450 in 2005 and 368 the day before the layoffs.

Police Chief Scott Thomson points to crime statistics for the two years before the layoffs that showed the crime declining. It was on account of intensive community policing efforts, he says, which came about when detectives were reassigned from desk jobs to patrols. The force was then able to be more proactive.

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

Four hundred properly deployed officers could effectively patrol the city, according to a recent report. The county plan aims to have 401 officers and more than 60 civilians, up from fewer than 20 now.

The civilians would do administrative work and some crime-scene investigations, freeing up officers. Thomson says that's what can make a real difference in the city. "It's very difficult for open-air drug markets to exist when a police officer is walking the beat on that corner," he said.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More U.S.

FILTHY LUCHRE: Surprising amount of microbes found thriving on dollar bills Watch

Image of According to a new study -- you really shouldn't put your money where your mouth is!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You really shouldn't put your money where your mouth is: Dollar bills are awash with all manner of microbes that can cause illness. Truly, a recent study gives new meaning to the term "filthy rich." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers at New York ... continue reading


NO PLACE TO GO: More than 1.6 million Americans do not have indoor plumbing Watch

Image of The proportion of U.S. homes lacking complete plumbing has dropped dramatically, falling to about one-third in 1950 and one-sixth in 1960.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two things make a house a home: a toilet and a telephone. With cheap, readily available cell phones, may take their calls mobile. But when it comes to washing your hair, or even finding a place to answer the call of nature . many Americans are not so lucky. It's been ... continue reading


Alabama Supreme Court Recognizes Child in the Womb Has Fundamental Rights

Image of The Alabama Supreme Court

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Because a human life with a full genetic endowment comes into existence at the moment of conception, the self-evident truth that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights encompasses the moment of conception. Legal ... continue reading


Help Make the Story of the Serial Killer/Abortionist Kermit Gosnell Into a Movie Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In 1852, the great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was invited to speak on the Fourth of July and delivered the now famous speech entitled What to the Slave is the Fourth of July. Here is a stirring quote from that famous speech: 'For it is not light that ... continue reading


Their Eyes Were Opened: Walk With Jesus on the Road to Emmaus Watch

Image of On the Road to Emmaus: In the light of the encounter with the Lord in the breaking of the bread, their eyes were opened. So it is meant to be with each one of us. The Holy Eucharist is more than a commemoration; it is an invitation into communion with the Living God - right now because Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead and walks with us on the road of life.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We are those disciples on the road to Emmaus, living our lives in the real world, walking along with Jesus who is always there accompanying us on the road, whether we recognize Him or not. He listens to us, and understands us, because he became like us, in "all ... continue reading


Made for Beauty: Liturgy and Music

Image of

By Deal W. Hudson

Some might flinch at my use of the word "satisfying" to describe a liturgy, but I used it deliberately because I want to think aloud about the fact that we were made for beauty as much as we were made for goodness and truth.  To be satisfied by the shape, ... continue reading


'COME AND TAKE IT' Texas AG blasts BLM scheming to seize state land, threatens fight Watch

Image of Texans are rallying against the federal government and its habitual overreach.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major land war between the Bureau of Land Management and the state of Texas is brewing as Texas lawmakers push back against the feds plan to seize 90,000 acres of land along the Texas/Oklahoma border. AUSTIN, TEXAS (Catholic Online) - The Bureau of Land Management ... continue reading


SHOCKING NEW TWIST: Autistic boy defends teenage girls who filmed his sexual assault Watch

Image of The parents of the victim are insistent that they want their son's abuser, 17-year-old Lauren A. Bush to be tried as an adult.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Abused beyond belief by two teenage girls, who filmed their despicable activities with their cellphones, a 16-year-old autistic boy now says he doesn't want to press charges against them - concerned that it would damage their - "friendship?" LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Time to Live the Easter Way of Life Watch

Image of Easter is more than a Day; it is a way of living our lives in Jesus Christ. Darkness has been scattered by the Light which broke forth from that empty tomb. That Light is meant to infuse our daily lives with the radiance of Resurrected love.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The early Christians lived their lives in the Lord, for the sake of the world. They exhibited a holy boldness; because they internalized the faith they professed and allowed it to transform every aspect of their lives. They experienced the transforming power of ... continue reading


50,000-strong OK Militia declares they will resist federal takeover attempts Watch

Image of The Oklahoma Militia is ready to defend property against unlawful federal seizure.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Oklahoma militia which claims the allegiance of 50,000 members has sided with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in his recent clash against the feds. Although the standoff appears to be over, and is not likely to resume, the militia says it is ready to defend the rights ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter