CCPD Building on 10 Years of Progress in the City

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(Camden, NJ) – Building on the progress of the last 10 years the Camden County Police Department continues to make gains in the reduction of violent crime and bolstering community engagement. In a side-by-side comparison the city has only had 6 homicides this year to date compared to 23 from this same time prior to the formation of the new agency in 2012. That’s a 74% reduction in murders over the last 10 years during a timeline where every city in the nation has seen significant increases in shootings and homicides.


Since the first days of the department’s operation, overall crime and violent crime have both been reduced to 50-year lows. At the end of last year, violent crime had been reduced by 44% and homicides had come down approximately 60% from the previous 10 years. Additionally, the city has seen a 62% decrease in shootings since 2012, the last full year of operation for the Camden City Police Department.


Camden City Mayor Victor Carstarphen praised the work of officers over the last 10 years and talked about the future.


“I commend the men and women of the Camden County Police Department for their tremendous service to the City of Camden and our residents,” Carstarphen said. “Camden’s record lows in crime are the result of hard work and a commitment to service before self.  It is all about being consistent and building trust with the residents of our city. Our police force remains engaged, and it is a department that continues to represent our community.”


Since the county police department was established 10 years ago the city has experienced unprecedented private and public investment from new corporate campuses to academic buildings. Furthermore, according to the U.S. Census Bureau the poverty rate has decreased, unemployment rate is down to 6.5%, the job rate growth led the nation in 2017 and the high school dropout rate has been cut in half since 2013. After 50 years of disinvestment and disenfranchisement, starting in 1967 with the closing of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden has been incrementally moving forward and becoming a beacon of hope and change for the region and the nation.


“Also, let’s take a look at what the progress on the public safety front has meant to our community, the largest employer in the county is planning on making an historic investment in the city at Cooper University Health Care and MD Anderson Cancer Center,” Carstarphen continued. “Without these gains the Chairman of the Board of Cooper, George Norcross, Governor Murphy and Governor Christie would not have announced a multi-billion-dollar investment and expansion into our city.”


In the fall of 2022, the wholesale reductions in violent crime sparked an announcement of Cooper University Health Care’s $2 billion expansion of its campus in downtown Camden City. In addition, Governor Murphy recently pledged $250 million to rebuild the Walter Rand Transportation Center to create a state-of-the-art mixed use transportation hub.


Tameeka Mason, a North Camden resident, discussed how the community policing model has positively impacted her community.


“As a partner in the community, CCPD has done a tremendous job focusing on building bridges with the residents of this city,” Mason said. “They are guardians to the children and families of Camden and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with them now and into the future to build on the progress they’ve made over the last 10-years.”


Camden County Police Department Chief Gabriel Rodriguez talked about the commitment the agency has to the residents, families, and children of the city.


“Being a part of the formation of this department, serving as its chief, I have seen firsthand the hard work and the dedication that has gone into building this law enforcement agency to be one that Camden residents can be proud of, that is responsive to their needs, and values their trust and ideas about how to make this city a better place to live,” Rodriguez said. “I cannot thank the men and women of this department enough for working day and night to build bridges and establish a level of trust with our community that we never knew under the former agency.”


Since the onset of COVID-19, where gun crimes and shootings have stayed stubbornly high throughout nation, Camden City has only recorded six murders in 2023. Furthermore, shootings are down 11% from this time last year in 2022, bucking a national trend that is plaguing other cities in the state and the country. In fact, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that gun-related homicides rose 35% throughout the nation. According to Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, 2020 was the largest year over year rise in gun murders in the modern era of statistical recordings and 2021 data shows gun related deaths remain stubbornly high throughout the nation.


Camden County Sheriff, Whip Wilson, talked about the progress that’s been made throughout the city over the last 10 years.


“I’ve walked the beat in the city as a member of the previous police department and I can tell you, as a lifelong resident, things have improved here,” Wilson said. “Moving forward, the Office of Sheriff will continue to work in partnership with Metro to reduce violent crime and build bridges with my neighbors and our community.”


Former Mayor and President of the Camden Community Partnership, Dana Redd, discussed how forming the department has left a lasting impression on her life and the lives of Camden residents.


“Changing the public safety paradigm in the city was one of the toughest and most fulfilling pieces of public policies during the course of my public life,” Redd s