America's Deadliest And Poorest City Set To Disband Its Entire Police Force Over Budget Crisis

Tyler Durden's picture

While the stock market in the US continues to surge (if not so much in China where the composite is back to 2009 lows) as the relentless liquidity tsunami makes its way into stocks, and other Fed frontrunning instruments, and only there, reality for everyone else refuses to wait. Last week we saw reality striking in Greece, where a section of Athens literally shut down after it ran out of all cash. Today, reality comes to the US, and specifically its poorest city, Camden, which is a twofer, doubling down also as America's deadliest city. It turns out Camden is about to become even deadliest-er, as its police force is set to be disbanded following a budget crisis in this effectively insolvent city.

AP reports:

This city, long among the nation's poorest and most crime-ridden, is on the verge of dismantling its police department and starting anew with a force run by the county government.

 

City officials are making the move to increase the number of officers while keeping the cost the same by averting rules negotiated with a union that city officials have seen as unwilling to compromise.

 

Unless the union - which is skeptical of the stated motivations for the change - reaches a deal with the county, no more than 49 per cent of the city's current officers could join the new force and those that do will get pay cuts.

 

John Wilson, a 57-year-old unemployed baker who's lived in the city his whole life, thinks it's worth a try.

 

'The police in Camden clearly haven't been doing their job,' he said last week as he walked to his home in the Parkside neighborhood, which has seen six homicides since the start of 2011.

 

'Any change has to be better. It can't get worse now.'

Oh yes it can. Here's why:

Officials say there are about 170 drug markets operating in this city of 77,000 near Philadelphia, more than 700 people on parole and 600 registered sex offenders.

 

The murder rate is unthinkably high. In 2007, Newark attracted national attention for a record number of homicides.

 

As of Friday, there had been 47 murders this year. The city record of 58 was set in 1995.

One can only hope this is not a harbinger of what is coming to all American cash flow, not money dilution ability, ends. Sadly, for Camden there is no more hope.

The city has the nation's highest poverty rate with more than two residents in five living in poverty, census data show.

 

The big factories that once made Camden an industrial boomtown have been gone for a generation.

 

Over the past decade, revitalization efforts focused on expanding hospitals and universities, which brought some life to downtown but had a less discernible effect on neighborhoods where even the best-kept blocks have abandoned homes.

 

The city expects only $25 million of its $150 million next proposed budget to come from property taxes. Most of the rest is supplied by state aid - and that's declining.

Think massive ECB bailouts, which in the US are far more streamlined. As for the local residents who still are paying property taxes, it may be prudent to just take your real estate losses and move on. Or else...

In January 2011, the city government conducted massive layoffs, including nearly half the police department and about one-third of the firefighters.

 

Since then, all the laid-off public safety workers have been called back, but their numbers have fallen through attrition.

 

Now, there are 270 police officers, down from 450 in 2005 and 368 the day before the layoffs.

 

Police Chief Scott Thomson, who is slated to lead the Camden County Police Department's Metro Division, points to crime statistics for the two years before the layoffs that showed the crime declining.

 

He says it's because of intensive community policing efforts that came about when detectives were reassigned from desk jobs to patrols and the force was able to be more proactive.

 

With the smaller force, he said, walking and biking beats are used more sparingly.

In the meantime, the local cops are all preparing to bail as entitlement funding runs out

The Fraternal Order of Police lodge that represents Camden's rank-and-file officers is upset that they have not been presented with a formal plan.

 

Cappelli says officers in the new department would have base salaries that are the same or higher than what they make now - ranging from $31,000 for a rookie to about $80,000.

 

Officers' health insurance contributions would increase, and officers would also lose longevity and shift differential payments that combined can boost their pay up to 22 per cent.

 

The plan is to start hiring for the new force in October and have a mix of city and county police patrol the city during a training period before shutting down the city department sometime in the first few months of 2013.

The plan will not work. Good luck Camden: you will need it in your transformation to the first circle of US hell, soon to be joined by many more.

And here are some pictures of just what Dante would see in his modern descent into America.

Shocking crimes: A Camden police officer stands in the doorway of a home on August 22 in New Jersey's most impoverished city, where authorities say a 2-year-old boy was decapitated, apparently by his mother

Shocking crimes: A Camden police officer stands in the doorway of a home on August 22 in New Jersey's most impoverished city, where authorities say a 2-year-old boy was decapitated, apparently by his mother

Fight: A supporter of the Camden Police Department speaks during a hearing before the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee, in Trenton

Fight: A supporter of the Camden Police Department speaks during a hearing before the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee, in Trenton

Forces dwindling: There are now 270 police officers in Camden, down from 450 in 2005 and 368 the day before the layoffs

Forces dwindling: There are now 270 police officers in Camden, down from 450 in 2005 and 368 the day before the layoffs

Run down: Crack houses have sprung up amid the boarded-up factories and burned out houses in Camden

Run down: Crack houses have sprung up amid the boarded-up factories and burned out houses in Camden

 

Abject poverty: The unemployment rate in Camden skyrocketed from less than 9 per cent to more than 20 per cent during the recession

Abject poverty: The unemployment rate in Camden skyrocketed from less than 9 per cent to more than 20 per cent during the recession

Gone: Camden police officers will lose their jobs at the end of the year when the department is disbanded

Gone: Camden police officers will lose their jobs at the end of the year when the department is disbanded

 

Decay: The Camden police have struggled to keep up with the soaring murder rate, amid layoffs and budget cuts

Decay: The Camden police have struggled to keep up with the soaring murder rate, amid layoffs and budget cuts

Decay: Soaring unemployment and the flight of thousands of city residents has resulted in urban blight spreading across the city

Decay: Soaring unemployment and the flight of thousands of city residents has resulted in urban blight spreading across the city



Run-down: Residents look out over the gutter city where almost half of people are unemployed

Run-down: Residents look out over the gutter city where almost half of people are unemployed

 


 

 

And for reference purposes, here are two gratutious clips from the beginning of Judgment Night:

 

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LULZBank's picture

Long Crime Bitchezz!!!

slaughterer's picture

Heard Knight Capital is relocating their HFT prop desks to those crack houses in Camden.  Good times. 

Pladizow's picture

Coming soon to a city near you!

Clashfan's picture

Yep, it's "one more time in the ghetto."

"Must I get a witness

to all this misery?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT_KiMP97_c

"The old lady kicks karate

for just a little walk down the street."

camaro68ss's picture

That “save corridor” sign is brilliant! Must do wonders in that area. Only if the rest of America could put up similar signs the world would be a better place.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

"There are going to be situations where people are going to go without assistance. That's just the facts of life." - Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates


So, you are a successful trader, speculator, investor, money manager, and is typical, have little patience. Something has been bothering you. You have been reading Zero Hedge long enough that you are now absolutely convinced that TEOTWAWKI is indeed nigh, and it could well be quite violent. You have also decided that you want to do something to prepare, beyond getting short the equity markets and going long gold and silver coins, but you do not know what to do, exactly. The HELP function on your Bloomberg terminal is, unsurprisingly, not helpful. A quick review of the government and Red Cross emergency preparedness websites tells you nothing about guns. This is problematic, as you fear that we all might be returning to a time in history where it is a common occurrence to fight for one's life, and you know that we usually do that in today's day and age with guns, or a knife close in.

 

What to do?

 

 

 

 

prains's picture

First things first

 

1. Acquire a heart rate that can work above 72 bpm for sustained intervals, preferably 175 bpm for 2 hours, also be able to operate said heart rate in the dark over rough terrain. In other words RUN FUCKERS RUN

12ToothAssassin's picture

2nd rule of ZombieLand: Cardio

AldousHuxley's picture

why do you need police in the ghetto? to protect what? rundown homes?

it is like paying for a security guard in front of a bankrupted bank.

 

wait....that's USA today. best military technology protecting banks with no money.

 

 

 

 

 

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

ITEM 4 

Get yourself in shape so you can run for your life. Go running, no matter how slowly, five times per week. Work yourself up to 30-minutes during the week, and then a longer run on the weekends. After each run, do three sets of as many push-ups as you can do. When you go see your doctor to ask for permission to get healthy, ask her to find some way to get you off any drugs you currently require to survive, and to please write you a post-apocalyptic "ditch medicine" prescription for a broad spectrum open wound MRSA antibiotic like Bactrim DS (or something else if you have a sulfa allergy).

 

 

Urban Redneck's picture

1) Form a syndicate and underwrite the "shovel ready infrastructure" to ring fence Camden, and issue Barry's Blue Shirts guns to walk the wall with...

2) Order the pet congress-critters to switch off the VACANCY sign at Motel FEMA.

3) Follow on offering and Groupon Greyhound bus vouchers to a "Red" state.

 

Option 1 would most benefit their bottom line-

12ToothAssassin's picture

I keep trying to buy 5.7mm ammo but its never in stock!

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

In Stock and this is a reliable company.  My local stores all carry it in quantity.

Zymurguy's picture

I'd recommend getting rid of any non-common caliber firearms and ammo.  5.7???  What is that?  Just kidding :)

But, if you can't buy it at a rural general store, conv. store, Walmart, etc. - forget it.  Get yourself set up w/ 9mm, .40, .45acp, 5.56/.223, 7.62/.308, 7.62x39mm, etc. etc.  Ditch those exotic "varmint" rounds, etc.  If you can't find ammo for it now - you'll NEVER find it when things go in the shitter.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

The FN 5.7x28 PDW platform is an excellent choice for the target audience and given mission.

Included on the list is an advanced, easy to use, compact, and highly reliable personal-defense weapon system that is made by FN Herstal, currently the largest arms manufacturer for the U.S. military. The FN FiveseveN pistol (get the model with tritium night sights installed) and PS90 rifle (Tri-Rail model) each fire the same 5.7 x 28 ammunition, which, along with these two weapons, is extremely light to carry. These weapons' standard magazines hold 20 and 50 rounds, respectively.  Unlike many old-school firearms, these are actually fun to learn to operate, because they are so light, yet still have no felt recoil (aka kick). 

The nice thing about guns is, unlike women, they do not mind if you have a bunch of them. 

If you can't find ammo for it now - you'll NEVER find it when things go in the shitter.

I do read this idea, frequently.  For me, being able to carry to the fight, and then employ and win the first "310 trigger pulls and reloads" in a TEOTWAWKI scenario is a higher priority than being able to "find" ammunition.  If you are doing it right, 310 rounds of single fire is a whole lot of gunfighting...more than I hope I will ever have to endure. 

Still, if it is TEOTWAWKI, no caliber of ammo is likely to be available, unless it is off dead bodies, and then they are just as happy to give up their rifle as their ammo.

 

ZackAttack's picture

To my mind, the round you choose has to be good for self-defense and a spectrum of game. Ideally, you want a rifle and pistol that share the same round. Ideally, the firearms themselves should be dead-simple.

The best compromise I came up with was a .357 revolver (actually, two of them) and a lever rifle. Great for self-defense in full-powered rounds. The carbine is (adequate) at shorter ranges on ungulates. For small game, I learned over the years the accuracy that .38 Spl wadcutters are capable of.

They work great with cast bullets. I've been saving brass and primers for several years now and accumulating powder and bar lead. You can use lead tire weights if need be.

That was my choice, now I'm spending my time improving my skills with them.

Fíréan's picture


So, you are a successful trader, speculator, investor, money manager, and is typical, have little patience. Something has been bothering you. You have been reading Zero Hedge

 

 

A successful trader, speculator, investor, money manager . . . reading Zero Hedge , you gotta be kidding ? 

Those days are long gone.

 

12ToothAssassin's picture

'Any change has to be better. It can't get worse now.'

 

 

Warning: It can always get worse.

Mr. Regression's picture

Don't give Mitt any ideas.  What a great way to solve our crime problems.  Just put up a bunch of "safe corridor" signs and fire all the cops!   Can't wait for my $10.00 tax cut.  God bless those guys who are still out there in Camden.  It must be pretty scary sometimes.  Hey, maybe one of our presidential contenders can stop in and let fly some ideas on what to do with this canary in our nations coal mine.

Mr. Regression's picture

Don't give Mitt any ideas.  What a great way to solve our crime problems.  Just put up a bunch of "safe corridor" signs and fire all the cops!   Can't wait for my $10.00 tax cut.  God bless those guys who are still out there in Camden.  It must be pretty scary sometimes.  Hey, maybe one of our presidential contenders can stop in and let fly some ideas on what to do with this canary in our nations coal mine.

Cathartes Aura's picture

dudes, learn doublespeak.  when you see "safe corridor" signs, or "drug free zones" posted, etc. - KNOW that these are shake down areas for the local enFORCEment uni-Formed. . .

The Safe Corridor initiative is part of an effort by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and departments from other states, to improve the safety of its roads. Roads with accident and fatality rates above the average may have some of their lengths designated as "Safe Corridor" areas. In these areas, traffic fines are doubled.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_Corridor

revenue, like everything else the people labour under. . .

pods's picture

I-81 going through PA is littered with these safety corridors.  

Or as I like to call them, enhanced revenue extraction zones.

Yet another reason to avoid PA, along with horrible roads and snail's pace bridge renovation.

pods

Temporalist's picture

Don't you worry, Tavis Smiley and Cornell West have this all figured out.  They are on a poverty tour through Amerika and according to them "Poverty is the new slavery!"

http://www.povertytour.smileyandwest.com/

There is even a letter to the president on their website:

Tell the President to Convene a White House
Conference on the Eradication of Poverty

"Dear Mr. President:
I’m sick and tired of a country that only works for the 1 percent of the
wealthiest Americans while millions of Americans face unemployment,
underemployment, and poverty. I urge you to stand up for the struggling
99 percent and call for a White House Conference on the Eradication of
Poverty that will lead to long-term solutions and living-wage jobs for all
Americans."

http://www.povertytour.smileyandwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Pres...

 

See, all fixed.  Obama got this.  No need to pay car payments, house payments, work, medical bills, student loans...all going to be free.  Just gotta pay those taxes though [unless your income is from not working] which means you're probably fucked unless you're super rich.

Watauga's picture

da, da marshalls? 

Martial.  Mars-the god of war.  Marshal law?  What the heck is that? 

Martial law is generally the imposition of MILITARY force to domestic chaos. 

Cathartes Aura's picture

indeed. 

mars, the god of war, and the man archetype, the symbol is a circle with an arrow pointing upwards at about 2 on the clockface - like an erection. . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mars_symbol.svg

economics9698's picture

The number one argument for free abortion clinics.

zapdude's picture

How does murdering innocent babies in any way alleviate the plague of rampant crime and a corrupt govt / police force?

Normally I really like your posts econ, but this one sucks. 

Curious & serious -- who is the MMA fighter in your avatar pic?  Always wanted to know.  Mine is Akuma from the Street Fighter series.

zapdude's picture

Wow.  The pro-baby-murder trolls are certainly out today. 

Where in the Libertarian credo is it celebrated and encouraged to DEPRIVE the most fragile in our society of their basic right to live, regardless of their parents deplorable lifestyles?

Just be glad YOUR mothers were pro-life you ungrateful hypocrites.

If you don't love freedom and liberty, you don't belong on ZH.  If you can't see how babies have the same basic rights to freedom and liberty as you or I do, you don't belong on ZH.  Troll somewhere else.

Sovle the root cause of the crime & corruption, and don't murder babies.  Seems simple to me.

object_orient's picture

People dependent on welfare have a financial incentive to produce more children. Your free clinic will have a different clientele than you imagine.

 

I'm sure it's been said further down the thread, but isn't Camden a great argument for drug decriminalization? Almost all the crime and violence there is an obvious result of the war on drugs.

zapdude's picture

To your point -- remove the incentives in the welfare system so it doesn't reward irresponsible behavior.  No murdering of babies.

Remember this test of morality:  how you treat the weak & defenseless is your true nature. 

 

BlackholeDivestment's picture

Economics9698, you are now risen in contempt. You shall perish.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

If I were a rich man, I'd be buying every last industrial lot in the place.

EscapeKey's picture

Camden's still got quite a distance to go in order to match Detroit.

It's getting there, though, I just think you're a bit too quick off the mark.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

No, no, my comment was meant to be sung to Tevyeh's tune in "Fiddler on the Roof". 

Actually, we are all likely very late to the mark.  Real estate is a slow burn. 

Wider Panama Canal and melting ice cap means North East USA industrial land is the play of the century.  Of the century.

Cathartes Aura's picture

I got yer toon.

and know that someone already owns the "land" where the decay is, and will pick up their tab once it's burned, vacated. . .

caconhma's picture

"Residents look out over the gutter city where almost half of people are unemployed”

We indeed need REAL socialism: One who doesn't work doesn't eat. It is that simple. All this social-engineering must stop.

 

The change will not come thru a ballot box but rather thru a revolution or a military takeover.

 

seek's picture

They don't have that much further to go to match Detroit.

However, you want scary... East St. Louis. Detroit's violent crime rate would have to triple to get into ESL territory.

A family of 4 in ESL will have a member experience a violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, assault) on average once every 2 years. Camden is a fucking paradise in comparision -- the reported number of crimes in Camden is higher because they don't even bother reporting property crimes in ESL.

Whoa Dammit's picture

The rich men already own the slums. Look up the property records in any blighted area of the US & see who is benefiting.

Mr. Regression's picture

That might be why you're not rich.

CPL's picture

I don't believe gentification is in the works or being planned.

Stock Tips Investment's picture

The economic crisis is beginning to affect all areas of our lives. Public safety is one of them. It is very important that the authorities set priorities. There are many subjects to be experiencing major budget cuts. Public safety should not be one of these sectors.

zerozulu's picture

Legalize the "DRUGS" and tax them and you need no police anyway.

smlbizman's picture

im from baltimore and i demand a recount...

Anglo Hondo's picture

Looks just like a whole lot of west Baltimore along Rt 40. "The Wire" showed a lot of realistic run-down Baltimore.

Thank God I'm on the other side in Fells Point.