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John Timoney

Irish chief John Timoney to aid Camden merger

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John Timoney

Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner John F. Timoney has recently been hired by the Camden County, Pennsylvania police force for their upcoming merge with the Camden city force.

Considering the city is regularly ranked amongst the most dangerous in America, the county police has decided to merge with the city police in order to make the area safer, and Timoney is set to make that happen.

Timoney, who came from Dublin to America at age 13, has been called “Philadelphia’s Top Cop and ” is known for his “pragmatic approach to fighting crime,” according to Philly.com. He served with the city until 2001; later, he also worked with New York City’s police department and transit housing police to merge the departments together, similar to what he will be doing in Camden Country.

For his great contributions to the safety of cities from Philadelphia to New York to Miami, Timoney was recently honored by our sister publication Irish America magazine as one of the 2011 Stars of the South.

Timoney, 63, currently resides in Miami, where he is senior vice president for Andrews International, a consulting firm. Prior to that, he was the head of the Miami Police Department, completed a fellowship at Harvard, and wrote a book.

Praised for his “statistics-based model of policing,” he will be paid $1,500 a day plus expenses for a five day excursion to the county that he admits he doesn’t know much about. He says that to prepare, he’ll take the next week “to throw everything out on the table and look at it...The problem with police layoffs, it's not just Camden, it's not just the Northeast, it's the whole country."
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Due to their own financial woes, the Camden City police force has laid off about 25percent of its workers this year alone, leaving their citizens worried that there simply won’t be enough policemen to guard their streets from their drug and gang problems.

Thus, the solution they agreed on was to work with county and state official to develop a new force consisting of both the city and county police, approved by Mayor Dana L. Redd. However, if they were to go through with the merge, it would mean that the current city force would be disbanded with only a limited number of spots on the new force. Cuts in benefits and health care are almost guaranteed.

Although with great intentions, the plan has been met with “outrage” by the Camden City police officers and with skepticism from the surrounding suburban neighbors. Mayor Bill James if Glourcester City believes the merger is merely a bailout of the dangerous city: "They always say it's not about Camden, but then it turns out it is," he said.

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