There was a 23 percent drop in murder/manslaughter crimes, and a 28 percent drop in aggravated assault overall.
Overall, violent crime is down 24 percent, from 398 incidents between Jan. 1 and March 31 2013 to 304 over the same period in 2014 when 88 new police officers from the Camden County Police Academy hit the streets in the city’s 21 neighborhoods.
As for non-violent crimes, the number of motor vehicle thefts dropped by 48 percent and burglaries were down by 33 percent.
The only one of the nine documented categories in which there was no decrease was arson, where there were 19 incidents in the first quarter of 2013 and 2014.
Overall, non-violent crim was down by 31 percent.
Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli credited the drop in crime with the determination and commitment of the 330 police officers who are assigned to the streets and sidewalks of Camden. He also cited the fact there has been 353 less crime victims than the first quarter of last year, 571 less crime victims than in 2012, and 469 less than in 2011.
“The men and women of this department have made a measureable statistical impact in the community,” Cappelli said. “For years, as an elected official, I received very few comments and correspondence about the police department in the city until now. Residents have reached out to me to thank us for the presence of the Metro Division.”
Camden Mayor Dana Redd said the law enforcement agency patrols the alleyways, sidewalks and playgrounds and is providing the children of Camden a safe place to play.
“If you ride around the city you can see the difference, and that difference resides in the children of Camden,” Redd said. “Kids are in the parks and playing in the streets again, there is an impact that is tangible to the city and to our residents. From reducing violent crime in our neighborhoods to seeing police officers playing with our youth and being positive role models, I’m confident we will see more improvements as the Metro continues to staff up.”
“This police department has a mission for this city, which is to reduce crime and make our neighbors feel safe to walk down the street, go to the park and sit on their porch,” Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson said. “Our officers are working hard to engage the community and are living by the ethos set forth by this organization, which is service before self. In addition, the men and women of this department are leading this city with strength and compassion.”