(Camden, NJ)- Last night the Freeholder Board voted to make the first uniformed police hires of the Camden County Police Department’s Metro Division by authorizing the transfer of three superior officers from the Camden City Police Department. The officers will be responsible for training new officers, assisting in the background check process and act in a supervisory role. In addition, the board also voted to accept a $5.5 million grant from the state of New Jersey to operationalize the new department with startup funding.
“We have reached two significant milestones as we begin to stand up this new department,” Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli said. “Having field training officers that know the City and have worked in it for years is an important part of this process. They will acclimate and educate new officers to the geography, neighborhoods and residents of the municipality.”
The officers being transferred to the new department are Deputy Chief Michael Lynch, Sgt. Joe Williams, and Det. Gabriel Camacho. These officers will be engaging on getting new hires on the street and sidewalks and teaching them tactics and strategies for a comprehensive policing presence throughout the nine-square-miles of Camden.
Over the last two years, violent crime has significantly spiked in the City. The municipality ended 2012 with 67 homicides and broken 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.
The Freeholder Board has also accepted a grant from the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA) last night that will fund everything from new patrol vehicles to uniform apparel for the new law enforcement agency. The startup costs for the department and the new Metro Division will be funded by a combination of funds from the state Attorney General’s Office and the DCA.
“This funding further underlines the commitment the state and the Governor have to the County department and the Metro Division,” Cappelli said. “It is morally imperative to take back the streets of Camden City and make our County a safer place to live. Last night the state provided the resources for us to make that reality.”
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 welcome seven more officers to the CCPD →