Tags: George Floyd Protests | Law Enforcement | crime | police | disband | protests | riots

Camden, NJ, Crime Rate Dropped After Police Reforms

(ABC's "Good Morning America")

By    |   Tuesday, 09 June 2020 04:25 PM

The city of Camden, N.J., was once considered one of the most violent places in the country.

That changed when the city got rid of its police department in 2013 and replaced it with a department where cops win over the trust of the residents by holding neighborhood barbecues and going door-to-door to introduce themselves to residents, the Daily Mail reports.

The former police chief Scott Thomson, who oversaw the change in the department, said the new department focuses less on making arrests and more on helping people feel safe, during a Tuesday appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Camden reported 67 murders in 2012 before the change. In 2019, there were 25 murders. Excessive force complaints shrunk from 65 complaints in 2012 to 3 in 2019. The crime rate has dropped from 79 per 1,000 to 44 per 1,000 since the new department was brought in, according to records.  

Nationwide people have called for police reform in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man, who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

In Minneapolis, the city council has agreed to take steps to disband its police department. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would redirect money from the police department budget into social services.

Scott Thomson said people "trusted" the new force, which was the key to its success. He served from 2013-2020.

"There was a reinvestment into the school systems and by employing a policing practice wherein we stopped focusing on the number of tickets we wrote or the amount of arrests we made," he said. "What we were more interested in was making people feel safer, making people trust us or getting people to trust us."

In 2012, officials agreed to replace the department as excessive force complaints piled in. All officers were laid off, but were allowed to reapply for jobs.

On their first day, officers under go a mental health exam. They must go door-to-door to introduce themselves to residents.

The new department hosts drive-in movie nights on a street once known as "heroin highway." The cops play with kids and bring ice cream trucks into neighborhoods.

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Camden, N.J., reformed its police department in 2013 and replaced it with a department where cops win over the trust of the residents by holding neighborhood barbecues.
crime, police, disband, protests, riots, murders, excessive force
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2020-25-09
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 04:25 PM
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