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Camden Nixes Hiring Of Civilian Police Director

Camden Nixes Hiring Of Civilian Police Director

Philadelphia Inquirer via YellowBrix

July 14, 2011

CAMDEN, NJ – If timing is everything, Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd needs to check her watch.

Redd became the target of justifiable criticism this week with her poorly-timed decision to appoint a civilian director to help run the understaffed Police Department.

Only a few months ago, Camden was in such dire financial straits that Redd ordered massive layoffs of police officers and firefighters. Some were later rehired, but not everyone got their jobs back.

Nonetheless, Redd now claims that Camden can afford to shell out $100,000 to pay a civilian to oversee a department that already has a competent leader in Chief Scott Thomson. She appointed retired state police Maj. Lanuel J. Ferguson to be the civilian leader in the department.

“We have the money,” Redd told reporters. OK, but is hiring another bureaucrat who will have no actual role in crime fighting the best use for it?

Not in a violent city that has been ranked as one of the most dangerous places in the country.

Also consider that Camden appears to be one of the strongest candidates to buy into an effort to form a Camden County regional police department.

Why would the city create a new post for a force that may soon be phased out?

Ferguson follows a string of previous civilian police directors whose short tenures were unremarkable. The position has been vacant since 2009.

By a 4-2 vote Tuesday, City Council refused to approve the hiring. But Redd believes she has the authority to make the appointment without approval by Council.

Camden needs an adequate number of police officers to keep residents and visitors safe, not another costly layer of bureaucracy.

  • Blue2_max50


    about 3 years ago


    As a retired Sr. Sgt. of some 25 years in Camden (73-98), I have seen this post filled and done away with so many times it is a real joke. I always ended with the "Director of Public Safety" or what ever title you want to use, with both trying to run the police department. In the late 70's early 80's there was state court ruling that said the "Chief" was to over see "Day- to - Day" operations, and the "Director" was just a budgetary position over the Police and Fire departments. But in the end it always failed, as the Director was always prior LEO and still tried to run the PD. So bring back those other 100 officer's and let the citizens get the protection they need.

  • Thinker_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Some Council members must have read the comments here on PL earlier this week when this was first proposed...

  • Marvin_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Man I don't know who this ladies chief of staff / confidant is but they sure are lying to her when she asks if the stuff she has been doing makes sense.

  • Cops4christ_max50


    about 3 years ago


    my city's last mayor did the same thing...he pushed through a Director of Public Safety...really? many applied for the job but it was given to a man which WE basically had told everything he knew about law enforcement while he was involved with our crime stoppers board. of course he gets paid more than most officers and does exactly what for the citizens?...nothing...Big Thumbs up for the council voting this thing DOWN!!!

  • Justice-400_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Granted that $100,000 can probably only hire one officer back, but one officer who gets their job back is better than spending $100,000 on someone who will do little for the people of Camden.

  • 1979_max50


    about 3 years ago


    I think it is rated down because they don't like the idea of a civilian trying to be hired before LEOs.

  • 1_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Why are people rating this article down?! Everyone has left positive comments! I think it's great that the hiring was blocked. Big thumbs up for "Camden Nixes Hiring Of Civilian Police Director"

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Glad the Camden City Council had it's head in the right place.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    Glad to see the Camden City Council had some guts to see this hiring for what it was, just a political hackjob, and nip it in the bud. Officers being laid off, 'but there's still room for one more political hack.' Unbelievable!

  • White_shirt_max50


    about 3 years ago


    I am sure Major Ferguson is drawing a nice pension. Bring back the laid off officers who are probably trying to keep the wolves off the front door. It is not rocket science. Common sense is not so common.

  • 1979_max50


    about 3 years ago


    The last thing you need is two Chiefs. Re-hire your trained Officers, that is what is going to help the city.

  • Pug_max600_max50


    about 3 years ago


    BUMP: PGPD911 Times are tough.

  • Imag0190_max50


    about 3 years ago


    I know times are tough, but adding politics to an already spread thin Department will do nothing positive.

  • Erin_1_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Bump PGPD911

  • Esu_patch_max50


    about 3 years ago


    If Camden had the necessary population of 100,000 to meet FBI criteria it would be the 5th most dangerous city in the country. They need the 10th mountain div not another director.

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