Camden, New Jersey

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Transparency grading process
Camden is a town in New Jersey.

Website evaluation

The good

  • Contact information for the Mayor and city council members is posted.[1]
    • No email addresses are provided for council members, only telephone numbers.
  • Contact information for Administrative officials is posted.[2]
  • Building permits and zoning information is available.[3]
  • Agendas are posted.[4]
  • Bids and contracts are posted.[5]
  • Information on how to make a public records request is posted.[6]
  • Some tax information is posted.[7]
    • Information on tax exemptions is available

The bad

  • Some budgets and audits are posted, but the latest information online is for 2008.[8]
  • Meeting minutes are not posted.
  • Information on taxpayer funded lobbying is not posted.

Police Realignment

In an effort to curb costs the city of Camden is planning to eliminate its entire police force of 270 members and contract with county law enforcement. City Mayor Dana Redd and Police Chief Scott Thomson noted that for the same price, Camden can have 400 county officers on staff. Current plans would permit no more than half of the city’s 270 officers to be hired for the new county division. The cost of policing Camden currently stands at approximately $60 million for the year. In 2011 the city laid off nearly 300 police officers. City police and officials have said that massive budget problems and declining communications have hindered the city from being able to control crime and maintain order. Camden's current police chief will lead the new metro police force.[9]

Critics of the plan say moving to a county-wide police force is a form of union busting as the Camden County Police is non union. Other cities in surrounding areas are concerned the high crime rate in Camden will drain county resources and leave their cities unprotected.[10]

Less than half od the current officers on staff in Camden will be part of the new county force.[11]

External links

References