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08-04-11, 06:18 PM #1
Timoney to consult on Camden police
The county, considering a merger, is bringing in the former head of Philadelphia police, now living in Miami.
Camden County has hired former Philadelphia Police Commissioner John F. Timoney to consult on the county’s proposed takeover of Camden City’s police force, county officials said Wednesday.
As Philadelphia’s top cop, Timoney was praised for his statisticsbased model of policing and criticized for his handling of protesters during the 2000 Republican National Convention.
Camden, consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the nation, is in dire financial straits, and a county-run police force has been endorsed by local officials and Gov. Christie as a way to reduce costs and get more police on the streets. Timoney will be paid $1,500 a day, plus expenses, for a five-day visit beginning Aug. 15. The county said it would consider hiring Timoney for a longer period after his initial visit.
Timoney, who lives in Miami, said Wednesday he plans to spend the next week studying Camden’s crime data.
“You have to throw everything out on the table and look at it,” he said. “The problem with police layoffs, it’s not just Camden, it’s not just the Northeast, it’s the whole country.”
Camden has laid off about 25 percent of its police force this year, raising fears the city won’t be able to adequately combat its long-standing gang and drug problems.
On Tuesday, Mayor Dana L. Redd said she had agreed to work with county and state officials on developing a new force. If created, the force would result in the disbanding of the city’s existing department.
That met with outrage from Camden police officers, who would be allotted a limited number of spots on the new force and would face significant cuts in health care and retirement benefits.
Timoney, who in the 1990s worked to merge the New York City Police Department with transit and housing police, will also be working on the county’s larger plan to create a countywide police force.
That plan has been met largely with skepticism from suburban mayors.
The Philadelphia Inquirer Digital EditionDo not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
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