Yesterday, the Camden County Police Chiefs’ Association announced it no longer wants to be part of the committee or the process of looking at a countywide police force through the County’s initiative to explore the option.
This action shows that they are more interested in protecting their own interests than the taxpayers’ interests. Taxpayers are asking for better public safety that is more cost-effective.
The police chiefs don’t want to be part of the process of protecting the greater public safety interests of their neighbors and, in that way, they are pitting their interests against the taxpayers in their communities.
That is unfortunate, but it’s their right and their choice to walk away.
Nevertheless, the status quo in current Public Safety costs is unsustainable for municipalities, given the 2 percent tax cap.
County Government wants to work in concert with all the stakeholders to create the best plan and that’s what we have been doing.
The County will continue to do so by pursuing the conceptual plan we have for policing that puts more officers on the streets and offers more enhanced Public Safety options, such as specialized police services, from a countywide Detectives Bureau to regional K9 units and SWAT teams as well as a host of other options that are in synch with the trend towards regionalization in crime.
Joining a countywide police department would be an option available to municipalities and would be totally voluntary. It would be up to the municipalities to decide what is in their best interests and those of their taxpayers.
Louis Cappelli, Jr.