News: Deep layoffs take effect in struggling NJ city

Ah, more budget cuts lead to the loss of more jobs. Gotta love it. (The title of Modest Mouse’s 2004 album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News has sprung to mind).

This time it’s police officers in a crime-laden city in New Jersey. Yeah, chew on that for a minute. They are laying off police officers in one of the nation’s most impoverished and crime-riddled cities–Camden, NJ.

Please join me in head-shaking and head-scratching at this phenomenon.

As many as 383 workers, representing one-fourth of the local government’s work force, are expected to lose their jobs, including about half the police force and one-third of the city’s firefighters.A local pastor says “the fear quotient has been raised,” and a police union took out a full-page newspaper advertisement last week warning that Camden would become a “living hell” if layoffs were not averted.

Like the closing of libraries I posted about the other day, this is clearly a situation of letting the poor regions stay poor and disadvantaged, while more prosperous regions suffer little or no budgetary setbacks. There’s a much subtler way to send a message, no?

News source: The Associated Press via Yahoo!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_us/us_camden_layoffs

A victim of a drive by shooting sits outside a Camden police car.

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Brandon L. Rucker

Brandon L. Rucker is a musician and writer of fiction, nonfiction and journalism. Armed with grammar and diction, plus an uncanny sense of rhythm and melody, he is at-large and potentially dangerous. Be wary.

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