City officials in Camden are going to court to try to block a public referendum on allowing the county government to take over the city police force.
City officials support the takeover, which is designed in part to save money.
Police union leaders and activists petitioned for a public vote on the plan.
They say the reconfiguration is union-busting and that it would be bad for the public because experienced officers would be replaced with inexperienced ones.
Camden regularly ranks among the nation’s highest-crime cities. About half the city’s police force was laid off last year during a budget crisis, though many officers have been rehired.