Camden County Releases More Details on Its Plan for Regional Police Force

The county's plan for a regional police force is moving forward, without the support of some law-enforcement groups.

Camden County's proposed regional police force could begin with a plan to provide detective work, bomb squads, K-9 units and SWAT teams for local police departments, among other special services. 

This proposal could be presented to local mayors in September, the county said in a release late last week. 

It wold be up to each municipality's leaders to decide whether to take part in the plan. 

In January, county officials publicly proposed creating a regional police force to share services and save money, and created a committee made up of local elected and law-enforcement officials to explore the idea.

Both the Camden County Police Chiefs' Association and the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police have publicly criticized the overall proposal, saying it lacks detail and won't save taxpayers money in the end. 

The Camden County Police Chiefs' Association announced in June that it would no longer take part in the exploratory committee. 

But, the county said it is moving forward with the proposal. 

"Further developing a plan for countywide special teams is one spoke on the wheel of this plan," the county said in its release. "It is not a substitute for the goal of forming a countywide police force. Developing any one aspect of the plan does not serve to slow down the process. It helps to define the process and make it clearer."

Following the exploratory committee's meeting on July 19, the county came up with a plan for providing the special services, which would also include providing officers for special events, as well as traffic, parade and crowd control. The county also would use the Camden County Police Academy in Gloucester Township for mandatory in-service training for police officers. In addition, the county would provide shared police purchasing of equipment and supplies. 

It is too early to predict how the special-services plan would be structured, county officials said. 

Last month, the county released a  that attempted to explain how a countywide force might work. 


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