The 62nd class was made up of 108 cadets from 10 agencies, and included 89 cadets who will join the Camden County Police Department. They will join the 239 officers already patrolling the streets of Camden, officials said.
“Deploying hundreds of uniformed officers to the streets of Camden and prescribing a new model of policing that increases services and safety for the region is imperative to stabilize the city,” Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. said in a prepared statement. “Our number one priority is to keep the residents of Camden County safe. These new police officers will make a tremendous impact in our County Seat, and by doing so are making Camden County a safer place to live for all residents.”
During an August 2013 press conference, Camden County Police Chief J. Scot Thomson said the CCPD is having early success thanks to its additional resources, to which the new recruits will be added.
“When you have officers who come to work and do good, proactive community policing, this is the result,” he said at the time.
Thomson's remarks come on the heels of a contentious labor battle waged among the county and the Camden City police union, however, during which one veteran officer told Patch that younger recruits were pitted against seasoned officers.
The establishment of the countywide department came despite the F.O.P. voting it down and various legal challenges that are still pending in state court.
In addition to the county police department, the other members of the graduating class will join police departments in Cherry Hill, Collingswood and Pennsauken, as well as Bridgeton in Cumberland County and Buena, Egg Harbor Township and Hamilton Township in Atlantic County.
The class includes 11 females and 18 cadets that speak seven different languages, including Polish, Arabic, French, Spanish, Malayalam, Portuguese, Creole, and American Sign Language. More than 50 percent of recruits hold a four year degree or higher.
Over the course of the six month training program, cadets earned from veteran officers, federal agents, college professors and civilian experts in a variety of fields.
The Camden County College Police Academy is located in the Camden County Regional Emergency Training Center at Lakeland and is associated with Camden County College.