What Disbanding the Police Really Meant in Camden, New Jersey – WIRED

1July 2020

Two schools of thought have actually emerged for modifying US policing practices following the killing of George Floyd and extensive Black Lives Matter demonstrations: reform the method police do their tasks, or defund and even disband authorities companies.

Reform-based efforts like Justice in Policing Act, which instituted reforms however still face allegations of authorities brutality. Defunding means cutting hundreds of millions” voted to disband its police department. One popular case in the dispute is Camden, New Jersey, which disbanded its police in 2012, converting it to the Camden Metro Division of the Camden County Police Department. Hundreds of officers were fired and made to reapply following new training and psychological evaluations. At a glimpse, the relocation looks like a success. Violent criminal activity in the city admired the restructuring and brand-new training. However neighborhood activists in Camden argue that dissolving the force reliance on monitoring, including license-plate-reading video cameras, city-wide web of CCTV video cameras. Brendan McQuade, a professor of criminology at the University of Southern Maine who studied the Camden County Police for his book on police intelligence systems, says Metro has relied on “soft social”policing and”mass guidance.””There's a danger in the ‘defund ‘conversation in assuming that uniformed, armed authorities are bad, soft social cops are great, “says McQuade. The shift to “mass supervision,”McQuade states, is a cost-saving measure and a half-hearted method to reform. Hardwick, the NAACP treasurer, states the surveillance is” infringing on a lot of people's rights “and increasing the variety of small arrests

. Officials argue that “individuals wanted these cameras. No, individuals wish to be safe.” In 2011, then governor Chris Christie proposed removing the Camden police department as a and rehiring them as county employees instead of city employees, Camden saved nearly$90,000 per officer. With the savings, Thomson, the chief, employed hundreds of brand-new officers at much lower salaries. That caused a.”href=”https://www.aclu-nj.org/news/2015/05/18/policing-camden-has-improved-concerns-remain”rel=”nofollow noopener” target=”_ blank “> big boost in arrests and summonses for small criminal offenses like tinted car windows or riding a bicycle without a bell.

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