Camden Crimes Plummet [AUDIO]
Total crime, violent and nonviolent, dropped by nearly 30 percent in the city during the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same period last year. Camden had 10 reported murders, compared to 13 early last year. Aggravated assaults with a firearm saw the biggest drop, 45 percent.
Not one crime category posted an increase.
One stark difference between the two quarters was the police force on duty. The city's police department was in charge through the first quarter of 2013, but disbanded and made room for a county-run force on May 1.
"You can see where the metro force is making a difference," said mayor Dana Redd. "We have more officers that are patrolling our neighborhoods and business quarters that are actively engaging with our residents."
A new class of cadets should add to the force in June.
Redd noted the drop in crime can also be attributed to hefty investments in technology, such as Camden's "eye in the sky" camera system and license plate scanners.
The city is also allowing citizens to help with crime-fighting through the launch of an initiative called ICAN (Interactive Community Alert Network). Residents can patrol their neighborhoods by using the camera system and interfacing with the police department.
"The feedback that I have been receiving is very positive from my law-abiding citizens," Redd added. "The message that we're sending, not only to the state but certainly to the nation, is that Camden is serious this time about making this city safe."