CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – Massive layoffs could become reality for the Camden Police force that hired 450 new recruits just nine months ago. City firefighters also face possible layoffs unless union officials agree to contractual concessions.
Nearly half of the city’s firefighters, police officers and unionized no uniformed workers could be out of work come January.
A budget plan to save millions of dollars in city employee’s salaries could mean cutting 188 of 375 police officers and 104 of 220 firefighters.
“Camden is already not safe with the cops we have, so we need more,” said Kyle Young, a Camden resident.
Police union president John Williamson represents all of Camden’s men in blue.
“Laying off just one police officer in the city of Camden is one too many,” said John Williamson, Police Union President who represents all of the city’s men in blue. “We are one of the most dangerous cities in America and officers are putting their lives on the line every day.”
Camden stands to get about $17 million fewer in state aid for the year 2011.
Mayor Dana Redd, who was not available to Eyewitness News for comment due to Camden’s cost-saving furlough Friday’s, will have to present a layoff plan to the state in the coming week.
Redd has gone on record saying that there is no “magically appearing pot of money” that will rescue jobs and that unions must make concessions.
“There I no guarantee that with those concessions that there still will not be layoffs,” said Williamson.