Camden, New Jersey, the deadliest place inÂ America, is disbanding its entire police force and firing 270 cops in an effortÂ to deal with a massive budget crunch.
The Camden Police Department will be replacedÂ with a force run by the county, which supporters say will cost significantlyÂ less and allow more officers on the streets.
Some citizens worry, though that the newÂ officers, many of them from the county police force, won’t be prepared for theÂ tough, violent work of patrolling a dense urban city.
The police union says the force, which willÂ not be unionized, is simply a union-busting move that is meant to get get out ofÂ union contracts.
No matter the political wrangling, the murderÂ rate in Camden, a decaying city of 77,000, continues to skyrocket.
There have been 41 homicides in the city soÂ far this year, including 13 in July alone. That puts Camden well on pace toÂ break its record of 58 killings, set in 1995.
The murder rate in ten times higher than itÂ is in New York City, 30 percent higher than New Orleans, the deadliest largeÂ city in the country, and three times higher than nearby Philadelphia.
The architects of the plan say they’ll beÂ able to put 400 police officers on the streets of Camden — a dramaticÂ improvement over the 270 who currently work the city, the Camden CourierÂ PostÂ reports.