TRENTON – The governor today provided some help to Camden’s beleaguered police efforts.
Gov. Chris Christie today announced that he is directing Attorney General Paula Dow and State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes to deploy additional personnel and assets to aid law enforcement efforts in Camden.
The directive will supply state resources to conduct targeted patrols aimed at suppressing criminal activity in identified crime hot spots, strengthening law enforcement efforts as the city and county continue implementing a regionalized police force and metro division for the city.
“As Mayor Redd and county officials are taking bold, necessary action to implement a long term policing strategy centered on a regionalized police force, I am taking action to deploy additional resources to support the public safety needs of Camden right now,” Christie said in a release. “This targeted deployment of state personnel and assets will have an immediate impact in curbing violence and crime and protecting the people of Camden.”
“We are sending additional troopers to conduct crime suppression patrols and increase the presence of uniformed police officers when and where they are needed most,” Attorney General Paula Dow said. “We believe this increase in law enforcement resources is the best way to aid the Camden Police Department and people of the city in an immediate manner.”
For the past nine years, the New Jersey State Police has maintained a contingent of troopers in Camden, who have assisted the Camden Police Department, the governor’s office said. These troopers already help investigate about 70 percent of the shootings in the city, and are active with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in taking wanted criminals off of the streets, Christie’s office stated.
Camden’s police force saw heavy layoffs earlier this year as part of the city’s huge budget deficit. As a result, crime rose. And reports stated that as a result police in Camden and elsewhere have made fewer arrests for some minor offenses.