BLACKWOOD, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey governor Chris Christie (center) and state senate president Steve Sweeney (left) were in Camden County this afternoon, talking behind closed doors about the county’s efforts to form countywide police and fire services as a way to cut costs (see previous story).

The hourlong meeting at Camden County College produced no firm commitments to the concept, although Christie and others say they embrace the shared services idea.

“The reality is that we don’t have the money to do it the way we were doing it anymore — we simply don’t,” Gov. Christie (at lectern) reiterated to reporters.

Two committees were set up to look into some of the concerns on the local level, including citizens’ fears that response times might be delayed with a regional force replacing one dedicated to a particular town.

County freeholder-director Lou Cappelli believes some towns could be part of a combined force within about six months, although some mayors question that timetable and many towns may opt not to join in at all.
Still, Christie suggests this county-coverage concept could be embraced elsewhere in the state.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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