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Countywide Police Force to Save Money?

A high-profile consultant brought in to oversee the implementation of a countywide force isn't so sure.

A former Philadelphia police commissioner brought in by Camden County officials to help oversee the implementation of a countywide police force is not certain the plan will save money, according to reports.

John Timoney told reporters gathered at the Camden County Regional Emergency Training Center, in Blackwood, on Tuesday that whether savings will be realized depends on what are determined to be "optimal staffing levels" for municipalities.

"You're looking for optimal staffing levels to police a county like Camden County," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Maybe it costs more. You won't know until you look."

Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. has indicated that municipalities will pay their own share for their forces within the countywide scheme.

Opponents have expressed fears the county's other 36 towns would bare the burden of paying for Camden's policing under the proposal.

On Tuesday, Cappelli told the Inquirer that Timoney is here to do more than provide a high-profile, well-respected face to back the county plan.

"There's been a lot of speculation that Timoney's been brought in to bless a plan that's already been decided. Nothing could be further from the truth," he told the paper.

On the topic of savings, Cappelli told the Courier-Post he would consider the plan a success if it meant doubling officers on the Camden streets at roughly the same cost to run the current city police department.

Camden County announced earlier this month that Timoney was hired as a consultant to oversee planning for the countywide force. He is in town this week, on a per-diem basis, to help officials develop a plan to bring Camden on as the first member of the countywide force.

The county and Camden announced on Aug. 2 a tentative agreement to make the city the first member of the proposed department's metro division.

Camden remains the lone town to publicly express interest in joining the countywide police force, according to the Courier-Post.

Pete Heinbaugh August 17, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Question: How much taxpayer money does this 'high-profile, well-respected' consultant cost? I get the feeling that this count-wide police force idea is slowly, agonizingly dying on the vine.
Darren Gladden August 17, 2011 at 08:45 PM
John Timoney what do you know what us people want in Camden county can't wait until his pay is OPRA ........Just another paycheck for one of there friends WAKE up people
Silence Dogood August 17, 2011 at 11:05 PM
This is something that the people should be allowed to vote for or against. Maybe putting this question on the November ballot and allowing the citizens to have a real say in how their tax dollars are spent would be a wise idea. This countywide police is a bad idea for Gloucester Township and the paid "consultant" has stated that it will RAISE taxes plus all of the great services we receive from our local police will go away. Why? Because the single party rule has run out county into the ground.
John Reynolds August 18, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Another credit rating agency just downgraded NJ's bond rating, due to, you guessed it, unfunded government worker obligations. They said the recent pension reform didn't go far enough to reign in costs. Trenton can no longer afford to subsidize Camden, so the county will have to pick up the tab. The county politicians are going after the unions rather than raise taxes. An election must be coming up.
N/A August 18, 2011 at 04:05 AM
John, maybe Governor Christie should listen to you and do what the bond analysts are demanding and actually pay into the pension fund instead of just misappropriating what the state workers already paid in by using the fund’s investments to fund casinos and the industry that has already failed miserably in NJ like the Race Tracks his buddies owned. See we agree again
N/A August 18, 2011 at 04:08 AM
Glad to see your against Republican Governor Christies plan to create a countywide police force in camden county.
GTWatchdawg August 18, 2011 at 10:00 AM
We still haven't heard what our Democrat local officials say their position is on countywide Police. They failed to answer the question when asked outright. I smell sellout. Remember you have to sign IN to this. Will the local Democrats give in to their friends.The Freeholders?
D. H. August 18, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Timoney couldn't run the Philly Police Dept, and was fired. Then when to NY City, yep fired again. He's dead weight collecting a pay check. This person has no idea how to run a police department. Setting up a department is even harder. This is just BS to have the real taxpayer's foot the bill for the City of Camden and its ill run administration. All this is because Fat Boy only wants to pay his sucks ups up north for nothing and screw the south. But that story has been going on in this State for decades...
Silence Dogood August 18, 2011 at 01:03 PM
How about Democrat Lou Capelli (Camden Freeholder Director), all Democrat Freeholder Board, Democrat Camden Mayor Dana Red, Democrtat Sen. Don Norcross, Democrat boss Gerorge Norcross, the Camden clergy (democrats), Democrat Dave Mayer, Democrat Glen Bianchini, Democrat Orlando Mercado. If you are going to call elected officials out for this really bad idea, let's call them all out.
CDOG3 August 18, 2011 at 03:10 PM
Why wouldn't this save money. With the avg GT police salary at 95,000. I think just paying them for the amt of education they have should cut it in half aleast.
Darren Gladden August 18, 2011 at 05:42 PM
I believe the whole system is out of control and NA whoever told you I back Christie 100% .......Relax he needs to start throwing the OLD BOY network in JAIL before I back him 100% ......One more thing NA don't assume who or what I'm about until you KNOW me care to talk over drinks and bring that 2500 SUPER Dooper Pooper picker upper for me PLEASE .I'm going to need it next year ..........Gladden for Council
John Reynolds August 18, 2011 at 06:14 PM
No problem, if the fat man pays into the pension system, he would have to either 1) Cut state payroll 2) Raises taxes 3) Wait for money to fall out of the sky What would your party do ?
Jimm August 18, 2011 at 09:33 PM
CDog - When you leave for work you have a pretty good expectation of getting home safely, right? Who is at the accident,in the rain, as you passed in your car, directing traffic, answering questions like " I cant go this way? Why?" when a telephone pole is obviously lying across the roadway. Yes that person is a police officer, a firefighter an EMT, sometimes volunteering in one of the other jobs for free while he gets paid for the most dangerous one out there. I'm surprised you posted this opinion when it seems every month a police officer is being gunned down by some wingnut and all that stress and scrutiny for "ONLY" $95K a year. FYI thats top pay for a patrolman - one third of an average dept is at 0-5 years experience who starts out in the K30-60K range, Mid level is 5-15 years and makes $60-90K, then the top or senior patrolmen make $90K. Now look at the smaller towns around GT - they top out at $60-70K. There are SOOO many reasons I could give you why ... but not enough space here.

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