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Anti-Crime Group to Send Members In Light Of Police Layoffs

Anti-Crime Group to Send Members In Light Of Police Layoffs

Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, speaks at a town hall meeting on Jan. 13, 2010.

Associated Press

January 14, 2011

CAMDEN — The anti-crime group Guardian Angels said today that it will send members to Camden just before police layoffs take effect.

The group says 40 members from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will arrive in Camden on Sunday.

Facing a budget crunch, the city expects to lay off up to one-fourth the government work force, effective Tuesday. About half the 370-member police force could be laid off, though the exact number will depend on whether police unions accept concessions.

Police Chief Scott Thomson has said he will reconfigure the force to maintain patrols. Other area police agencies, such as the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, have been in talks to help more in the city.

Studies consistently find Camden, with open-air drug markets in several neighborhoods, to be among the nation’s most crime-ridden places.

Thomson said he didn’t mind any help from the Guardian Angels.

“Folks with good intentions are always welcome on our streets,” he said.

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa said in a release today that the patrols in Camden will run from 11 a.m. until midnight.

The group went into Newark in November when there were police layoffs there.

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