Top New Jersey state troopers sent to help Camden fight crime wrote a scathing internal memo concluding that city police were floundering as violent crime continued to rise, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The confidential memo sent three months ago cited a startling statistic: Police failed to solve four out of five aggravated assaults involving a gun last year. “Today’s aggravated assault is tomorrow’s murder,” said the memo, written at the request of the state police superintendent. “The assailant only needs to be a better shot, or the victim unluckier.”
The memo brought to a head long-simmering tensions between the city and state police. Yesterday, senior law enforcement officials, including Attorney General Peter Harvey, gathered in Camden to resolve their differences and plan renewed crime initiatives. The changes address at least one concern cited in the memo: Police will redeploy shooting-response teams disbanded last year. Other changes include walking beats in four high-crime areas, crackdowns on nuisance bars, a hotline for gun tips, and “permanent” community outreach officers.