By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey’s Civil Service Commission today gave the green light to Camden County to begin hiring for its new police department, which will replace the current force now on patrol in the City of Camden (see related story).
The unanimous vote came before members of the public got a chance to speak, although legal briefs had been on file for weeks.
The decision allows the county to bypass many civil service rules for a year to get the force up and running.
“We pretty much thought that it was going to be a rubber stamp and that they were going to approve it,” acknowledged Camden City FOP president John Williamson afterward.
He says the FOP plans an appeal, both to this panel and in New Jersey Superior Court.
But whether that will stop the changeover remains to be seen.
County officials say they have the names of 2,000 job applicants on file, including more than 100 current Camden city cops (see related story).
But the commission has yet to receive a layoff plan from the City of Camden which they need to approve. Still, the county plans to begin hiring 400 officers next month.