By Kim Glovas and Robin Rieger
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has announced plans to send state troopers into Camden to help suppress a growing murder rate.
“As Mayor Redd and county officials are taking bold, necessary action to implement a long term policing strategy centered on a regionalized police force, I am taking action to deploy additional resources to support the public safety needs of Camden right now,” said Governor Christie. “This targeted deployment of state personnel and assets will have an immediate impact in curbing violence and crime and protecting the people of Camden.”
Years ago, New Jersey State Police took over the police force in Camden. This is different. State troopers will be hitting high crimes areas and will assist local officers. Paul Loriquet is spokesman for the State Attorney General’s office.
“We have intelligence that’s provided to the state police regional operations intelligence center, so that the deployment and targetted patrols will all be targetting high crime, hot spots in the city.”
Last week, Camden Mayor Dana Redd met with the attorney general after a spike in murders in the city. The governor says the additional troopers will help have an immediate impact on curbing violence and crime and protecting the poeple of Camden. The city is also working on a long term regional police force which is still in the planning stage.
“We will support the Camden Police Department and our law enforcement partners in a cooperative effort to thwart the senseless violence occurring in that city,” said State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes. “Recent incidents highlight the brazen acts of a small percentage of lawless individuals who have been ignoring the law in Camden. We are here to assist the Camden Police Department and the citizens of Camden in reclaiming their streets.”
For strategic reasons, Christie won’t say how many troopers will be added but says the increase will be noticeable.
Camden is a city of just under 80,000 and has had 16 homicides since Oct. 1. It laid off half the police force in January.