By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — It appears that everyone involved in the formation of New Jersey’s first countywide police department is now ready to go ahead with the plan.

Camden County will take control of the Camden city police department by early spring if everything plays out as planned, and other communities could join in later.

The accord, originally announced last August (see previous story), hinged on working out the particulars and getting Camden City Council on board.

Camden City Council will introduce a resolution next week to get the process moving.  Camden mayor Dana Redd says the plan could increase the number of police officers in Camden higher than the 375 on board prior to last January’s layoffs that cut the force in half (see related story).

“The ultimate goal is to put at least 400 officers on the ground, patrolling our streets in our city,” Mayor Redd told KYW Newsradio today.

Under the plan, current Camden city cops will get consideration for positions on the new force, particularly if they also live there.  Those not selected, but with a long service record, are expected to be offered early retirement packages.

Redd hopes the new force will be in place by April 1st, if not sooner.



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