Camden welcomes back some police, firefighters

April 1, 2011 2:49:52 PM PDT
Dozens of police officers and firefighters were sworn-in - again - on Friday in Camden, New Jersey.

Mayor Dana Redd welcomed back 50 police officers and 31 firefighters who were victim to the city's budget troubles.

However, the city was able to bring them back after securing $2.5 million from the South Jersey Port Corporation in lieu of taxes.

That money will help them keep some staff through June 30th. Redd has said she expects to adopt a new city budget, effective July 1st, that will make the return of the police officers and firefighters permanent.

"It's a blessing, God is good. It's just good to be back and doing what's right for the City of Camden and doing what's right for ourselves," said Officer Terrell Watkins.

"So happy to be back to serve the community of Camden. I love my job and I love the people of Camden," said Officer Linda Alicea.

In mid-January nearly half the police force and dozens of firefighters were cut to ease the city's budget crisis. Since then, crime has risen 20 percent.

All of the rehired officers and firefighters will be back on the streets as early as this weekend.

"This is a good step in the right direction and, hopefully, they'll be able to bring more people back," said firefighter Darien Gans.

Camden is still down 118 police officers and 37 firefighters.