108 cadets graduate Camden County Police Academy

BLACKWOOD, N.J. - December 13, 2013

On the campus of Camden County College, 108 recruits marched in single file, ready for a new stage in life - a new job as a sworn police officer.

About 89 of them will join the new Camden County Police Department.

Among them, Nathan Headd Jr. The marine served in Afghanistan after 9/11- now he's looking forward to serving the people of Camden.

"The department is the third largest in the state and we're still up and growing and I am liking the fact that I am a part of that," said Headd.

In May, the countywide force took over policing in Camden. The goal is to bring the force to a total headcount of 411 officers.

With this class, the department grows to nearly 330 patrolling the city streets.

On Friday, John Jay Hoffman, the New Jersey state attorney general told the gathered audience of friends and loved ones, that with this new force, the overall crime rate in Camden is down.

"These trends are really encouraging as is the knowledge that you highly-trained, highly-motivated new officers will soon be joining this camden team effort," said Hoffman.

The new recruits said the training wasn't easy, but they met the challenge, now they're ready for the new crime fighting challenges ahead on Camden's city streets.

"It was really challenging. It wasn't easy but at the same time we all achieved at the task, and I am really excited to start my job," said Kayla Young.

Twenty cadets in this graduating class will go on to other departments including Cherry Hill, Collingswood, Pennsauken and other South Jersey communities.

Another class is scheduled to begin training in January with 80 more officers expected to graduate in June.

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