Camden Can't Keep Police Officers
Even as it has received praise for reducing violent crime, the New Jersey police department has struggled to retain officers since it was formed two years ago.
The Camden County Police Department, even as it has received praise for reducing violent crime in the city of Camden, has struggled to retain officers since it was formed two years ago.
Nearly 120 officers - including large swaths of recruiting classes - have resigned or retired, making the department's turnover one of the highest in the state.
The attrition threatens to be an obstacle for the county-run force in its quest to build a strong relationship between officers and residents. President Obama is expected to discuss that relationship Monday when he visits Camden.
Police officials outside the city say that high turnover can make a department prone to mistakes, and that it limits the ability of officers to connect with residents.
County officials blame the turnover on some officers' struggling to adjust from the police academy to Camden's streets, historically ranked among the nation's most violent. The county force, through its Metro Division, currently patrols only the city of Camden.