By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Two years into the operation of the Camden County police department, officials are pointing out significant changes in the way they operate — changes that are making a difference on the streets of Camden.

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One statistic: more than 3,800 calls for a “person with a gun,” and not one shot was fired by an officer.

“That’s a tremendous testament to the restraint that they are exercising out in the field,” says police chief Scott Thomson, “and it’s also indicative of their preparation and their professionalism.”

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And in that time, police officials note, there have been more than 15,000 arrests, with just 98 complaints filed over “excessive force” and 97 for issues with an officer’s demeanor.

Thomson recently sent a letter out to every officer saying, basically, thanks.  He adds that he is planning a series of mentoring exercises next month to continue emphasis on communication skills and de-escalation techniques to use on the street.


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