By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Camden city officials today introduced their new consultant who is charged with protecting the city’s interests during and after the transition from a municipal to a county police force.

A group of community activists and religious leaders stood with elected officials as retired New Jersey State Police major Lanuel Ferguson was introduced to the public.

Reintroduced, actually.  He served as civilian police director for about a month last year (see previous story), only to leave when the mayor and City Council couldn’t agree on hiring him.

“I’m not a person to look in the past,” Ferguson said today.  “If I look in the past, I am looking backwards.  I like to look forward.”

It’s now thought that Camden County will start hiring upwards of 400 officers for its Metro Division — covering Camden exclusively — in October.

Of the more than 1,500 applications for the new non-union positions are more than 60 from the current unionized city police force of 270.

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