Crime-Ridden NJ City Axes Police Department

Camden to replace force with non-union county workers
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2012 8:19 AM CDT
A police officer stands at the doorway of a Camden, NJ, home, Aug. 22, 2012, after a 2-year-old boy was decapitated, apparently by his mother, who then fatally stabbed herself.   (Photo/Mel Evans)

(Newser) – Camden, New Jersey, is often cited as one of the most dangerous cities in America—so of course, it's getting rid of its police department. In a bid to rein in its budget, the city will lay off all 460 of its police officers by the end of the month, Fox News reports. They'll be replaced by a new, non-union "Metro Division" of the county police. "This is definitely a form of union-busting," a union president said.

Only half the current officers will be re-hired for the Metro Division. Nearby towns aren't pleased, fearing that county police resources will all wind up in Camden. "It's a disaster waiting to happen," says one police chief. The city council yesterday hired former state police major Lanuel Ferguson to consult on the new division, on a no-bid $100,000 contract, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Ferguson was almost appointed acting police director last year, but that time the council said his $100,000 asking price was too high. (Read more Camden, NJ stories.)

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