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Camden Police Will Not Respond To Some Crimes Due To Layoffs

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CAMDEN
Firefighters applaud Andy Delgado, back to camera, a five-year-veteran of the Camden Fire Department, as he tells them to keep their hopes up Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, in Camden, N.J., as they prepare to turn in their gear after being laid off. About 335 workers, representing one-sixth of the local government work force, lost their jobs, according to Mayor Dana Redd. It was worst in the public safety departments, where nearly half the police force and close to one-third of the city's firefighters | AP

It seems laying off half of the police force won't be enough to fix Camden, NJ's budget problems.

The next step? Stop covering minor crimes.

Camden police will no longer be able to respond to vehicle accidents without injuries, minor thefts, or vandalism as a result of the layoffs, New Jersey Newsroom reports.

But that doesn't mean these types of incidents are no longer considered crime. Reports will still be able to be filed over the phone, or at headquarters. However, officers will rarely be able to respond quickly if these crimes are reported.

92 percent of the remaining police force will be reserved for street patrol and investigations, reports the Philadelphia Enquirer.

Camden is among the most dangerous cities in America, according to Reuters, and suffers a $26.5 million budget deficit. The city plans to lay off 43 percent of its police force, and almost 300 civil servants total, in order to correct its budget problems.

The city has seen its share of problems over the past few decades.

From New Jersey Newsroom:

According to salon.com, Camden's population has shrunk from over 120,000 to just 79,000 in recent decades. It was once home to Campbell Soup factories and RCA Victor. Walt Whitman is buried there. "I dreamed I saw a city invincible," a line paraphrased from his poem, "Leaves of Grass, "is engraved on the city hall's facade. Deindustrialization has remade Camden into a regional hub for narcotics trafficking, prostitution, corruption and joblessness, plagued by violent battles over drug corners. Three mayors over a two-decade period have ended up behind bars.

Around the Web

Mass police, firefighter layoffs begin in Camden | NJ.com

Deep Layoffs Take Effect In Camden « CBS Philly – News, Sports ...

Possible police layoffs loom over Camden | 6abc.com

Camden layoffs: Police turning in badges, guns | courierpostonline ...

Camden, N.J., Braces For Police, Firefighter Layoffs : NPR

Deep layoffs take effect in struggling NJ city - Yahoo! News