Prosecutors get layoff notices in NJ's Camden

February 15, 2011 9:07:20 PM PST
It's another blow for law enforcement in Camden County.

The Camden County Prosecutor's Office announced today that 66 employees received layoff notices effective April 1st. Most of them are investigators and prosecutors.

"It's very difficult to give layoff notices to someone you put your faith in and brought in to the office, some of whom had very stable jobs and wanted to come here to be prosecutors or investigators," Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk said.

The office handles more criminal cases than any county in the state except one.

The investigators play a major role in crime fighting, helping many of the small boroughs and municipalities handle the most serious cases of murder, child abuse and sexual assault.

The move comes on the heels of deep cuts to the Camden Police force.

If the cuts go into effect, Faulk worries about his ability to assist police and try cases.

"At this point, we're holding our own, but if these layoffs take place, that is a fear that we have," Faulk said.

The move comes as no surprise to many county residents in these times of deep budget deficits, but they worry about its impact.

"It's going to be chaos, complete and utter chaos between the civilians, the criminals, and the prosecutors, there's nothing we can do about it," Gloucester City resident Doris Becker said.

The prosecutor's office says the budget process could last well into April meaning some of the people who received layoff notices could be extended up to a 120 days.