Camden, New Jersey is poised to enact a massive layoff plan that has many city employees and community residents worried. Extra help–wearing their trademark red berets — is on the way.
The Guardian Angels recently stopped by to canvass Camden, says the group’s founder, Curtis Sliwa. He says if the city goes through with the layoffs, including police officers and firefighters, the Guardian Angels will try to fill the void with members from Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and other locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“All of this due to residents that have been contacting us, who live in and around the Broadway area and in the Westfield Garden Apartments, who have been reaching out to us frightened at what might happen,” said Sliwa.
Camden City Council approved Mayor Dana Redd’s plan to layoff about a quarter of city employees to deal with a $26.5 million budget gap. Redd has said union concessions could reduce the number of layoffs. She has already promised to scale them back somewhat using money the port pays to the city in lieu of taxes.
Sliwa and the Guardian Angels have also been patrolling in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood.
The layoffs are slated to take effect January 18th.