Camden leaders welcome new law to check crime

Leaders from the struggling city of Camden are praising New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for signing a law that will make it easier for police to combat crime.

Camden politicians and community leaders gathered Thursday in North Camden, the scene of many of the city’s drug crimes, to talk about the changes.

A law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney now has the ability to apply for a restraining order against anyone charged with a criminal offense, but released without being detained.

Camden Police Chief John Scott Thomson said it will be easier for police to stop people who are arrested from returning to the scene of a crime,

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“Previously, we had to get it signed by a judge, which meant we had to track the individual down later, which just made it impossible to get service,” he said. “But now, we can serve the drug dealer upon his processing and arrest … they know from that moment forward, if they return to within 500 feet of that location, we can put them in handcuffs and take them right back to jail.”

Block captain Edgar Alejandro is happy,

“Our block will be clean!” he said. “We look out, we see the cars coming by or something. We really push the drug dealers out, or the junkies that come and get the drugs.”

A crowd gathered to watch the police and politicians talk about crime. The back of one young girl’s jacket had a name, dates, and the letters RIP.

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