Alejandro Ramos, 25, laid off last year from the Camden, N.J., Police Department, yesterday he regained a gun, a badge, and a full measure of pride – 800 miles from home, in Nashville, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was one of three South Jersey officers hired by the growing department, which has made a recruiting push into the area. Ft. Worth, Tx., also recruited in central New Jersey yesterday.
The New Jersey recruits said they saw potential for professional growth in a larger department that covers 533 square miles and a population of about 600,000 in Davidson County, which includes Nashville, even though its rates of major crime are not so daunting as in a much smaller place like Camden, population 77,000. There have been 49 homicides in Nashville-Davidson so far this year, and 46 in Camden. Facing a $26 million budget deficit, Camden laid off 168 officers, nearly half its force, in January. It has since rehired 95. Other Camden officers found jobs in South Carolina, Virginia, and elsewhere in New Jersey.