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Crime-Ridden Camden to Rehire Fifty Officers

Crime-Ridden Camden to Rehire Fifty Officers

Camden Mayor Dana Redd listens to a question as she stands with police chief Scott Thomson Thursday, March 17, 2011 in Camden, N.J., after announcing that April 1, 2011, the city will rehire 50 police officers and 15 firefighters. In January Camden's budg via YellowBrix

March 18, 2011

CAMDEN, NJ – Some Camden police officers and firefighters will be back in uniform April 1 thanks to an influx of funds.

City officials today announced a plan that rehires 50 police personel and 15 firefighters via $2.5 million in “payment in lieu of taxes,” or PILOT, funds.

Mayor Dana Redd made the announcement weeks after city council shot down a balanced budget she proposed that would hire back similar numbers.

Nearly 400 Camden employees were laid off Jan. 18 in an attempt to close a $26.5 million budget gap.

Earlier this month, city council passed a resolution accepting a $5.1 million federal grant to rehire laid-off firefighters. Final numbers on will be brought back won’t be known until adoption of the city’s budget.

That brings the total number of rehired firefighters to about 30.

Redd met with Gov. Chris Christie and the mayors of Trenton and Newark last month in what she called a “robust discussion to be creative in an era of shrinking resources.”

She called out criminals who may have thought it was open season for crime.

“Dont be mistaken, we’re out there on the ground and we’re coming for you.”

Police Chief J. Scott Thomson said the rehires will be inserted into crime hot spots as soon as possible.

Redd noted that she would also strongly consider regionalization of police services, but only if it was in the best interest of Camden.

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