Camden's mayor is preparing to dismantle the city's police department to make way for a new county force.

Mayor Dana Redd said Tuesday that a plan to lay off the 270 existing officers by year's end is being drawn up.

Groups of newly trained Camden County police officers would start as current officers are let go.

The city would pay the county for the officers, who would be assigned specifically to the city. A plan to consolidate police forces in the suburbs has stalled.

Redd and Police Chief Scott Thomson say the city needs to make the change because it could mean having 400 officers on the force.

Some current Camden officers will get jobs on the new force.

Police union officials are protesting the change.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)