Timoney makes his Camden debut

CAMDEN - August 16, 2011

This time the nationally recognized public safety expert has been hired as a consultant to Camden County.

"My role is a police technical advisor helping the county devise a policing scheme for a new county police department," Timoney said.

A plan to regionalize must be submitted to the state by September 30th.

Towns in Camden County could voluntarily join the proposed regional force, but right now, the only place targeted is Camden which has lost a quarter of its police force because of budget issues.

Timoney says special services such as SWAT, detectives, and K-9 units could be consolidated, but costs may not necessarily go down.

He believes there is, however, an advantage.

"It's the exact same cost, but you're getting a bigger bang for your buck, you're getting more boots on the ground; you're a getting a more effective police service," Timoney said.

"Our plan will double the number of police officers on the street; we will have walking patrols, bike patrols which have not been seen in Camden City in decades," Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said.

The Camden Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) says the plan is a union busting technique where more cops could be hired, but for less money and fewer benefits.

"I'm going to say no with a big no, because they're cutting people's salaries," former Camden FOP President John Edwards said.

The Camden County Freeholders will meet Thursday night and are expected to approve a memorandum of understanding with Camden City and the State Department of Community Affairs.

It will be a major step toward planning for a countywide force.

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