By David Madden
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – Camden County’s park police will be going out of business and its 13 officers, joining the new Metro Division of the County Police Department, will soon patrol the streets of Camden.
The county parks will now be patrolled by municipal police departments, according to county Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli, who says locals were usually the first to show up at crime scenes in parks anyway.
“We have reduced the number of park police officers from 35 down to 13 over the last five or six years because there simply aren’t that many calls in the parks,” says Cappelli.
The move saves the county some $2 million a year without a single layoff.
As for the new Metro Division, the first employment offers went out this weekend, the vast majority of them to current Camden City cops.
Cappelli says 162 of them, more than half the force, applied and almost all have received job offers.
He still expects the new 400 member department on Camden streets by the end of April.