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More Talks Can’t Seem To Avert Camden Municipal Layoffs

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CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) – Barring a last-minute change of heart, it appears that massive layoffs in the city of Camden will occur as scheduled next week.

Almost 400 workers, including 180 police officers and 67 firefighters, will be hit.  Ongoing talks with the unions to soften the blow appear to be going nowhere.

John Williamson, head of the Fraternal Order of Police local that represents Camden cops, says they’re at an impasse with Mayor Dana Redd over concessions.

“We did offer wage and step freezes. We also offered some furlough days,” Williamson told KYW Newsradio on Friday.

But even if the unions gave the administration everything it sought, it would only put a small dent in the plan to cover a multimillion-dollar deficit.

Williamson remains hopeful that an accord can be reached. The reductions are set to take effect Tuesday.

On a related note, about 40 members of the Guardian Angels anti-crime organization will begin patrols of Camden streets starting Sunday. They did the same thing in Newark, NJ when police layoffs hit that city, and they also have a contingent working in the Kensington section of Philadelphia as police there search for a serial rapist-murderer.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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