By Cleve Bryan
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – Seventy recruits will join the Camden County Police Department after a graduation ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
They will join 320 officers already patrolling the streets of Camden who have accomplished some significant reductions in crime since the police force restructured last year.
According to Camden County violent crime is down citywide 25 percent, motor vehicle thefts are down almost 50 percent and there are 277 fewer crime victims compared to the same time last year.
“I think what’s more important than the statistics is the community building that we’re able to do and making people feel safer in their neighborhoods,” says Camden Police Department Chief Scott Thomson.
Governor Chris Christie stopped in Camden to praise the safety accomplishments.
“All these things are incredibly positive results demonstrating how Camden is becoming a model for other cities and communities across the state to emulate,” Christie said in front of City Hall.
One recruit ready to make a difference in her home town is CaBria Davis.
“This is the place that made me the person that I am,” Davis told CBS 3 as she showed us the 500 block of Mechanic St where she moved to when she was nine-years-old.
That same year her father was murdered in Morgan Village, so she and her brother Rico had just their mom, Sunday Davis.
“At the time it was really hard because she was on welfare and she didn’t have any formal education so she tried to instill in us the love and support she didn’t get growing up,” says Davis.
She says her mom is her motivation for wanting to become a police officer.
“I couldn’t be more proud and I’m just glad that she wants to give back to the community,” Sunday Davis said at the Police Academy graduation in Blackwood.