Camden County NJ Takes Over City Police Functions, Ex-Officer Arrested


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came to Camden yesterday to hail the advent of a new county-run police force in the city as “a transformational moment for both the city of Camden and Camden County,” reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Christie, an early supporter of the new Camden County Police, which yesterday replaced the nearly 184-year-old city police department, said it would lead to “better, stronger, more effective, more visible law enforcement.” Former city Police Chief Scott Thomson was sworn in as the new chief of the city’s metro division. More than a dozen former city officers gathered outside. A retired sergeant said the group had come to attend the ceremony but was told it was a private event. When one of them walked toward the hall entrance, he was stopped and handcuffed by a member of the new force, charged with “defiant trespassing.” The city will pay the county $62 million for the year starting July 1 to fund the Camden City Metro Division of the Camden County Police Department. The metro division, when fully staffed, is expected to number 400 officers, making it considerably bigger than the force of less than 300 that it replaces. More than 150 former city officers who applied to the new force have been hired to be among the first 260 officers on the force.

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