Monday, August 27, 2012
Predominantly non-white Camden, New Jersey, the deadliest place in America, is disbanding its entire police force and firing 270 cops in an effort to deal with a massive budget crunch
The Camden Police Department will be replaced with a force run by the county, which supporters say will cost significantly less and allow more officers on the streets. Some citizens worry, though that the new officers, many of them from the county police force, won't be prepared for the tough, violent work of patrolling an overwhelmingly black and Hispanic city. The murder rate in racially diverse Camden, a decaying city of 77,000, continues to skyrocket. There have been 41 homicides in the city so far in 2012, including 13 in July alone. That puts Camden well on pace to break its record of 58 killings, set in 1995. The murder rate in ten times higher than it is in New York City, 30% higher than New Orleans, the deadliest large city in the country, and three times higher than nearby Philadelphia. Nearly one in five Camden residents is unemployed - the highest rate in New Jersey.