CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – The City of Camden has signed off on a plan to be the first participant in a Camden County police department (see related story). County and state officials are expected to agree on the plan in short order.
Meanwhile, the city is also working again to put a curfew on retail businesses in Camden, in an attempt to battle crime.
If the idea sounds familiar, it should. Camden has tried twice before to force businesses that attract rowdies and drug dealers to close early (see previous story).
Twice, the courts have said no, thanks to lawsuits filed by civic activist Frank Fulbrook, who vows to fight it a third time.
“Selling food late at night is perfectly legal, and it should be, and selling cocaine is illegal. So the police need to concentrate on the real crime in Camden, which is the drug dealing,” Fulbrook tells KYW Newsradio.
Under the measure passed by Camden City Council, businesses would have to close by 11 PM on Sundays through Thursdays, and 12 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Pharmacies would be exempt, as well as liquor stores and gas stations (but only for fuel sales).
The measure still requires state review, followed by a 20-day waiting period, and that’s when Fulbrook will go to New Jersey Superior Court.
Marc Riondino, an attorney for the City of Camden, thinks the new rule will get the court’s approval.
“We’re looking at all retail establishments, not just take-out. We’re not unfairly treating any group,” he says.
Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060