Will prosecutors be the next laid off in Camden?

Could things get worse for Camden, N.J.?  Half of the city’s police force has already been laid off, and Wednesday night the police union rejected a deal that could have returned many officers to the force.

Camden’s Police Chief says he’s pushing more of his police out onto the beat to keep the streets safe.  With more of the police pounding the pavement, Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk says the prosecutor’s office is stepping up,

“The arrest is just the start of the process,” said Faulk.  “There is then the need to interview witnesses and to follow up to continue to talk to witnesses so we don’t lose them and produce them at trial.  All of those are things that are performed–or have been performed by both the Camden Detective Bureau and our office and with the absence of detectives in the city of Camden, that responsibility’s going to fall to us.”

Which all seems okay, given the tough situation Camden’s in.  Except, the prosecutor’s office is also facing potential layoffs this spring.  Faulk says if that happens, the office may have to prioritize,

“We may have to be more selective in the cases that we prosecute,” said Faulk.  “Obviously the violent crimes: the shootings, the homicides, aggravated assaults, we will continue to prosecute vigorously.  We will have to look more carefully at property crimes and those sorts of things.”

Faulk says employees in the prosecutor’s office are already working to near capacity, but no one’s complaining about shouldering the additional duties for Camden.

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