(Camden, NJ)- Today marks another milestone in the buildup of the Camden County Police Department’s Metro Division by the arrival of seven new officers. These officers signal the continued increase of the County’s regional law enforcement organization formed to bolster public safety in Camden County. These men and women started assisting a small contingent of law enforcement agents and civilians at the Police Services building where they are preparing for the orientation and training of hundreds of new candidates.
Since the state and Gov. Chris Christie have granted $7.5 million in startup funding for the Camden County Police Department the Freeholder Board has moved forward with its plan to construct a 401 officer Metro division in Camden City. Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli cited the movement of the officers as critical to building the department.
“Bringing these officers down to our headquarters was another positive step forward in the process of coordinating the ramp up of the Camden County Police Department’s Metro Division,” Cappelli said. “These officers will provide the backbone for facilitating and training new officers to police the streets of Camden City, while taking on a supervisory role and assisting in the background check process.”
The transferred officers, Sergeants Jose Rodriguez and Scott Bagby, and patrolmen Gabriel Rodriguez, Linda Alicea, Vincent Robinson, Robert Borger and Julio Rios will join the department today. These men and women will start working with three other transferred police officers from the Camden City Police Department. Together they will be getting new hires on the streets and sidewalks and teaching them tactics and strategies for a comprehensive policing presence throughout the nine-square-miles of Camden City.
“The funding is in place for this department to move forward and we have bipartisan support from the Governor and Senate President for this initiative,” Cappelli said. “This new police department will undermine and eliminate criminal activity and make the City and County a safer place to live and call home.”
Over the last two years, violent crime has significantly spiked in the City. The municipality ended 2012 with 67 homicides and broke its previous homicide record set in 1995. The City is also experiencing invasive drug dealing consuming an estimated 170 city blocks and endemic prostitution throughout its neighborhoods. In addition, CQ Press ranked Camden as the most dangerous city in the nation last week.
Furthermore, all costs connected to the Metro Division’s police services will be paid for by the City with local property tax revenue and the State of New Jersey through transitional aid. In short, the State will pay the difference between the City’s payment and the services provided by the County Police Department.
The Camden County Police Department’s Metro Division is being constructed to stabilize the city and make it a safer place for residents, families and children. The department will have 401 certified officers made up of the current Camden City Police Department and PTC qualified officers and will supplemented with about 100 civilians.← Freeholders bring over training officers and secure funding South Jersey Times endorses the Camden County Police Department →