In the latest example of a cash-strapped municipality taking drastic measures to deal with swollen public sector liabilities and shrinking budgets, the city plans to disband its 460-member police department and replace it with a non-union “Metro Division” of the Camden County Police. Backers of the plan say it will save millions of dollars for taxpayers while ensuring public safety, but police unions say it is simply a way to get out of collective bargaining with the men and women in blue.
“This is definitely a form of union-busting,” Camden Fraternal Order of Police President John Williamson told FoxNews.com. “This method is unproven and untested, to put your faith in an agency that doesn’t even [yet] exist.”
Camden County Mayor Dana Redd has said layoffs of the city’s police force will begin by the end of the month. Only 49 percent of current city police officers will be transferred to the new county division, whose members will begin a four- to five-month training program.
Joseph Eisenhardt, president of the Camden County Police Chiefs Association, stated “There is a crisis, but this is not the solution. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.”
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