This week a dangerous place officially gets a new police force. On Wednesday, the metro unit of a new countywide police force will take over patrolling the streets of Camden. With the help of the new cops, the notoriously dangerous city hopes to shed its bad reputation.
The Metro Division is better equipped to protect Camden than the city department was, said Camden County Freeholder Board spokesman Dan Keashen.
“Starting on May 1, the Metro Division will have about 280 officers hitting the streets. And we will be building from that 280 sworn-officer number up to 401 total sworn officers,” he said. “That is significantly more officers — it’s about three times more officers that the Metro Division will be able to put on the streets as opposed to the former city department.”
Keashen said the Metro Division will have the resources and capacity that the city police department did not have, “and under extreme austere circumstances could not provide to the community. So this department will have more police officers in the neighborhoods.”
Residents and businessowners have already embraced the new police who have been out learning the streets, he said. The nucleus of the new division will be made up of experienced Camden City police officers who know the streets and understand Camden’s residents, Keashen said.