Possible police layoffs loom over Camden

August 4, 2010 3:09:22 PM PDT
The possibility of layoffs is hanging over the Camden police department, and the news isn't sitting well in a city that has a history of struggling with crime.

Camden, like so many other New Jersey cities, is facing deep budget cuts..the result of reduced state aid from the Christie administration in Trenton.

The question is, how many layoffs are coming and will that include police officers.

"I grew up in the city, I've got family here. It could only make things worse," said resident Rod Norman.

Camden is consistently rated one of the nation's most dangerous cities, and people have to live with it every day.

"We've got a lot of seniors here that live alone. We need the policemen," said resident Bernice Arington.

Despite that, the 389 member police department is looking at possible mass layoffs. The police department has to cut nearly $14 million in salaries and wages to help plug the city's $28 million shortfall.

The mayor continues meeting with union leaders and, according to her spokesman, meeting with union reps trying to figure out a way to cut the budget with the least amount of pain.

The Fraternal Order of Police says the talks are amiable.

"We're working with the mayor to ensure no one gets laid off," said John Williamson, the president of the FOP.

Camden just brought 50 new cops on board last month, and they will they be the first to go if there are police layoffs.

The mayor is set to present her new budget next Tuesday, spending cuts and all.


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