City Councilman wants Camden to declare a state of emergency

Camden on a good day.

Camden on a good day.

Camden officials seek N.J.’s help with surge in crime:

After a store owner and father of five was gunned down in his own store the City Council President of Camden, New Jersey has called on the mayor to declare a state of emergency in the city.

This past week 48-year-old Miguel Almonte was shot and killed during a botched robbery in the mom and pop store that he owned. Three others were wounded and at last check the gunmen were still at large.

This prompted City Council President Frank Moran to introduce a resolution that would urge Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd to declare a state of emergency in the city. That would mean that Mayor Redd could go to the state and request State Police and National Guard assistance.

New Jersey Governor Christie, whom I usually agree with, said that he would decline such a request if it came to him. He seems to place a large part of the blame on the Camden police union for not being willing to negotiate. That may or may not be true but I think what the larger problem is that more than half of the property in Camden is non-tax generating, meaning that the city does not collect taxes on more than half of the properties in the city. If the union was putting a stranglehold on the city it was mere drop in the bucket compared to the lack of taxes.

If it was up to me I wouldn’t hesitate sending in the National Guard to Camden. It’s only a matter of time before a crime is committed there that will result in a massive body count and then everyone will wonder how it could have happened.

If there is any chance of saving Camden the time to act is now before its cancer spreads into the surrounding communities.