This guest post was written by a former Camden police officer and was passed along to me by the NAACP. It is cross posted from the Local Knowledge blog. The video and news article that it responds to was titled: “What Memphis can learn from the war on crime in Camden.”:
Memphis: Want the truth? Don’t listen to the press, listen to the officers who were thrown out of Camden.
– In Camden, the department went from an “older, diverse” department (roughly 1/3 white, 1/3 black, and 1/3 Hispanic) to 60% white and less minorities.
– Civil Service rules (you know the ones where officers take a state test for promotions) were suspended and the chief was able to promote his friends several ranks up the ladder, better who you know than what you know.
– Crime was driven up prior to the county takeover. Notice they will only compare the Metro stats to the high 2 years just prior. How did this happen? Well, they assigned double, even triple, the number of officers on their days off to patrol empty parking lots for concerts that were not starting until hours later. Thus costing the city the difference.
– Overtime was driven through the roof. Officers spouses actually complained at a City Council meeting that there was too much unwanted/unneeded overtime being forced on an already stretched-thin force. No time off to de-stress.
– Crime numbers are artificially and illegally being changed.
– Burglaries are being changed to thefts (theft from auto in many cases) or trespassing (burglaries to buildings).
– Aggravated assaults are being changed to simple assaults. (this is documented in a Philadelphia Inquirer article by Michael Boren.)