NJ town's police force shrinks amid high crime

By Allison Steele
Philadelphia Inquirer

CAMDEN, NJ — The Camden Police Department has lost more than 10 percent of its officers since 2006 despite a crime wave that made last year one of the deadliest periods in Camden's history.

About 430 members strong three years ago, the force is down to 383 officers, including about 50 sidelined by injuries, disability and suspensions. At least 15 more are expected to retire by year's end.

"We have been bleeding officers," said Police Director Louis Vega, who asked the city for 26 hires last year and was denied them. "There's not a lot we can do about it."

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