Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Camden sees spike in firearms assaults, violent crime after massive police force layoffs

In the two months following 160 police officers being laid off from Camden, New Jersey, aggravated assaults with firearms have risen 259 percent. Meanwhile, violent crime overall has risen 19 percent from last year.

After police union negotiations broke down with the city in January, the city fired nearly every officer hired after 1998. Consequently, the remaining 200 officers in the department are, largely, middle-aged. Camden Mayor Dana Redd said 100 police officers could have kept their jobs had they accepted a 20-percent wage cut. The city also fired 67 firefighters, as well as 100 clerks and it shut down the public library.

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