Camden Police Director Quits; Crime Still Rising


The top police official in Camden, N.J., resigned yesterday, becoming the third city leader to quit this week and leaving the department with its seventh leadership change in as many years, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The turnover raises more questions about the future leadership of the troubled city when the mayor is not running for reelection the council president is seeking a state legislative seat. Police Director Louis Vega, a veteran of several police departments, including New York’s, was hired last summer by the New Jersey attorney general to oversee a new state-led safety plan.

Vega and Police Chief John Scott Thomson have gotten more officers out of desk jobs and onto the streets. In an effort to curtail more serious crime, the number of arrests for minor offenses has increased. The homicide rate has declined, even as the crime rate in other areas went up. “There were significant steps made in the last year,” said David Wald, an attorney general’s spokesman. “These are steps taken to aggressively address violent crime in the city.”

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