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By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – Camden County freeholders have hired a consultant to coordinate formation of a new county police department, with Camden its sole client at this point.

Jose Cordero’s top achievement, before forming his own firm, was being hired by the Corzine Administration as state Director of Law Enforcement. His year-long task here is to get a new force up and running.

“The Cordero Group is being hired because they have expertise in implementing complex law enforcement policies, procedures and strategies,” Camden County Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli says. “They’re the type of things that we need done in order to facilitate the Camden County Metro Division.”

To replace the current Camden City department.

More than 1,100 applications are on file for about 400 positions.

“More than 75-percent of those letters of interest have come from folks who live in South Jersey. Some have come as far away as Decatur, Georgia.”

But how many could come from the current ranks of Camden cops is unknown. Their union has been leading efforts to block the change in court. Efforts that, for now anyway, have failed.

Cappelli expects hiring to begin in the fall, after the city, county and state finalize an agreement, with the new force hitting the streets next Spring.

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