October 28, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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What happened after Camden, NJ dissolved its police department

What happened after Camden, NJ dissolved its police department

The once-crime-ridden New Jersey city disbanded its police force and created a new one in 2013 – this is what happened.

The story of Camden, a city of about 74,000 people outside of Philadelphia, is gaining national attention, as activists are increasingly demanding that local police departments “sabotage” amid protests over George Floyd’s police brutality in Minneapolis.

Floyd, who was black, died after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes during the regular arrest – and the Minneapolis City Council announced Sunday that he had enough votes to dissolve his own police department.

Camden is smaller and different than Minneapolis – but it still provides an example of what a sector’s “deflation” looks like, proponents say.

Camden dissolved its power amid a massive murder and widespread corruption in the control of millions of dollars in debt, creating a new union non-union seven years ago with a “community-oriented” and anti-force stance.

Since then, the city has fallen its violent-crime rate by 42 percent, from 67 in 2012 to 25 last year. Bloomberg Report.

Meanwhile, the number of creative complaints against police has dropped by 95 percent since 2014, according to the police.

“What we are enjoying in Camden today is the result of years of deposit in a relationship bank account,” Scott Thompson, a former Camden police chief, told Bloomberg, who oversees the department’s transition before leaving in 2019.

There are still plenty of officers on the streets of Camden, but changes have been instituted, which include efforts to increase sectoral diversity, provide officials with one of the clearest definitions of “legitimate power” in the country and say they can be removed if they stand.

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On the first day of work, Camden police knock on doors and ask residents for advice on how to improve things, CNN.

The sacking of unionized officers and their replacement by county employees reduced Camden’s official wages and benefits, According to a 2014 ruling.com report.

But then the force was reunited, costs increased, According to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Camden budgeted $ 68.45 million last year for police, while Patterson – twice the population – spends $ 44.72 million a year on police.

Critics have also raised other issues.

The local NAACP chapter has denied the fact that local cops are now more likely to live in the suburbs – yet they do not reflect the city in terms of diversity.

“Ninety percent of Camden’s population is a minority – we have a lot of young people who don’t look like us,” the chapter’s president, Kevin Barfield, told Bloomberg.

William Walls, 34, of Clayton, New Jersey, shakes hands with City Hall deputy commissioner Melvin Singleton in Philadelphia.
William Walls, 34, of Clayton, New Jersey, shakes hands with City Hall deputy commissioner Melvin Singleton in Philadelphia.Via Camden Courier-Post AP

Social activist Oji Baba Madi acknowledged, CNN, “City figures do not reflect [department] Figures.

“With a white leader, he is thoughtful and progressive, and with only one African-American captain out of seven, both race dynamics and optics are an issue.”

However, Madi acknowledged that relations between police and residents have improved and that it “feels much safer at the neighborhood level.”

He said there is a police presence here to stay in Camden – because there are more crimes.

The chairman said that Camden “is far from any practical de-policing reality.”

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“We cannot guard our way from social issues, unemployment, inequality, health care, and economic challenges — these are things that provoke crime,” said Neima Watson, co-chancellor of civic engagement at Rutgers University-Camden, who lives in the city. “