Debate heats up over Camden Police merger
CAMDEN, N.J. - August 12, 2011 (WPVI) -- The debate is heating up over whether to merge police in Camden County under one roof.
One side says it will lead to chaos on the streets. The others believe Camden will become a safer place.
Big cities in England have seen massive urban riots over the last week. Some officials are wondering if that could happen in Camden, N.J.
That's what the president of Camden's embattled police union is saying could occur if county officials are allowed to carry out their plan to merge the city police force into a county regional force, with only one half of Camden's current cops being retained.
It is the latest salvo in the debate over consolidation aimed at saving money.
Camden's cops say the city is under attack by the county freeholders."The city of Camden is under attack again. Not just by the usual criminals, but by the Freehold Director, Louis Cappelli ," said John Williamson.
The FOP leader says Camden suffers from the same poverty, crime and social unrest powder keg that exploded into riots in London and Birmingham, England. He says tampering with Camden's already undermanned police force only invites trouble."The government officials and citizens of London now realize the importance and value of police readiness," Williamson said.
Louis Cappelli, the leader of the County Freeholders, condemned the FOP leader's rhetoric.
The comments are unconscionable," said Cappelli. "There is no room in this debate for talk of riots in Camden city. That is unconscionable and irresponsible for any FOP member to be talking about riots at this time."
Cappelli says his plan would end up doubling the number of cops on the street in Camden, and all of Camden's current cops will be eligible for the new county force.
The political rhetoric surrounding the police issue is bound to heat up. The stakes are high with lots of jobs and power on the line.
police, camden county, new jersey, local/state, vernon odom
- Derailed train car blocking road in South Coatesville
- Brisk And Cold 54 min ago
- Get the 6abc StormTracker app
- 2013 Troop Greetings
- Arrest in deadly June shooting in West Philadelphia
- 2 million-dollar tickets sold in NJ, 1 in Del. 56 min ago
- Suspects caught on camera prior to car theft
- Guide dog saves blind man after subway track fall
- Girl kidnapped, freed in Reading; suspect at large 57 min ago
- Water main break causes river of ice in Cherry Hill
- On video: Burglars steal drugs in Hunting Park
- Husband charged with wife's murder in Bethlehem
- Tourist distracted by Facebook falls off pier
- Phila. attorney Charles Peruto, Sr. dies
- Brisk And Cold
54 min ago
- Raising healthy kids: Reducing radiation...
9 min ago
- Truck stuck under RR overpass in Bensalem
47 min ago
- Girl kidnapped, freed in Reading; suspect...
57 min ago