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Gov. Christie Praises Camden County Police Department as 70 Officers Join Force

Homicides are down 30 percent in two years, according to the department.

Gov. Christie Praises Camden County Police Department as 70 Officers Join Force
Gov. Chris Chrisite joined Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Camden Mayor Dana Redd and Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson to discuss the progress of the Camden County Police Department on Tuesday as 70 recruits joined the force.

They provided an update to the public on the efforts in the city of Camden since the county police force launched on May 1, 2013.

According to statistics released by the department on Tuesday, non-fatal shootings are down 35 percent from this time last year and 39 percent from this time in 2012; homicides are down 20 percent from 2013 and 30 percent from 2012; and motor vehicle thefts are down 34 percent from 2013 and 49 percent from 2012.

"All of these reforms and changes are important, but the credit really goes wholly to the men and women in uniform and the leadership of this force who are turning opportunity for progress into actual progress," Christie said. "All of the time what we try to do is present people with opportunities, opportunities to grow and get better."

“We are making progress on a daily basis and our impact is being felt throughout the city from Yorkship Square to Pyne Poynt Park,” Cappelli said. “The contributions of the men and women of this department have been incredible on a grassroots level building a dialogue with the community that has not existed between law enforcement and residents for a very long time.”

The department has also reduced the number of aggravated of assaults with a firearm by 24 percent from 2013 and 36 percent from 2012. Rape is down 15 percent from 2013 and 53 percent from 2012.

“If you ride around the city you can see the difference, and that difference resides in the children of Camden,” Redd said. “Kids are in the parks and playing in the streets again, there is an impact that is tangible to the city and to our residents.

“This police department has a mission for this city, which is to reduce crime and make our neighbors feel safe to walk down the street, go to the park and sit on their porch,” Thomson said. “Our officers are working hard to engage the community and are living by the ethos set forth by this organization, which is service before self.”

The 70 new recruits come from the Camden County Police Academy’s 63rd Basic Police Recruit Class, one of the largest in the history of the academy. They will join the 320 officers already patrolling the streets of Camden.

A total of 90 recruits from 11 agencies graduated on Tuesday.

Graduates underwent a six-month training course and learned from veteran officers, federal agents, college professors and civilian experts in a variety of fields.

The other 20 recruits in the graduating class will go on to serve as officers through the Alternate Route Program and being employed by police departments in Haddonfield, Haddon Heights, Oaklyn, Gloucester Township, Collingswood, Fieldsboro, Westhampton Lumberton, Edgewater Park and Ocean City.

The class includes 11 females and this recruit class can speak 5 different languages: Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Hebrew and Circassian. This brings the total number of foreign languages spoken at the Camden County Police Department to 11.

Also, the class includes 22 bachelor degrees, two recruits with graduate degrees and one recruit with a doctorate degree.

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