For those not watching the situation in Camden, you really need to put
this on your radar as we move closer to the complete elimination of the
Camden City Police Department.
On Thursday, Mayor Dana Redd submitted the plan to lay off the entire
police department to the state. This is the first step before any
civil service commission agency can lay off police officers.
CAMDEN — Mayor Dana Redd took a major step Thursday toward
dismantling Camden’s police department in favor of a county-run
force by filing paperwork with the state to lay off all the city’s
The layoff of the department’s approximately 270 officers is a
necessary step in the planned conversion to a county department that
is expected to take over policing the crime-plagued city several
months into the new year.
The plan filed with the state Civil Service Commission Thursday
must be approved before it can be put into effect. Layoffs would
occur on or about Feb. 24 and no later than the close of business
Citing unsustainable costs and a lack of concessions from the
city’s police union, Redd states in the filing that dissolving the
department and contracting with the county is “the only solution” to
“achieve a balanced budget and have necessary levels of police
services for the residents, workers, visitors, students and
businesses” in the city.
Critics, however, contend the plan is untested and is tantamount
to union busting.
About half of Camden’s current officers could be folded into the
projected 400-officer Camden Metro Division once the layoffs take
effect. County officials have said layoffs won’t occur until the
Metro Division is large enough to adequately police the city.