Camden’s mayor has announced that the city will be closing its police force, instead working with the county to outsource police services. Camden is one of the most violent cities in the nation; all of the police officers will likely be laid off, though they will be eligible for new county positions.
“We’re having a problem internally with the existing force,” said Mayor Dana Redd. “We rehired everyone, all the 168 officers that were laid off. We’re having a high absentee rate so we cannot continue with this trend and expect to keep our city safe.” The president of the police union, John Williamson, is fighting back hard: “I say that bringing 300 new people who don’t know the city, don’t know the people, is a recipe for disaster.” Williamson plans to sue the city.
The facts in Camden are obvious: the police force has been remiss, and they’re paid far too much of the city budget. It’s a situation repeating itself all over the country, from Camden to Anaheim, a city considering outsourcing its police services to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. As cities go bankrupt, the cost gets passed on to counties and states.