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Camden Breaks a Dubious Record

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A view of Camden from Campbell’s Field – baseballoogie / flickr

A Friday morning homicide in Camden has them breaking a record they did not want to break.

The recent killing is the 59th this year in Camden, breaking a record that was on the books in 1995, and maybe further enhancing the reputation that the Jersey city is one of the most dangerous in America.

Fact is the city of about 77,000 had a murder rate in 2011 that was ten times than that of New York City, and 30 percent higher than New Orleans (which was the most dangerous city in the U.S. last year).  Coincidentally, almost half the police force was laid off in a budget crunch in early 2011.

In July here were 13 homicides in Camden, making it the most deadly month in the city’s history since 1949!  On top of this, Camden has had 103 shooting during the first half of this year.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that Camden County is taking applications for a new police force it’s forming to replace the city’s department so more officers can patrol the streets.

The economy in Camden does not help with the violence, as the unemployment rate in the city stood at 18% this summer, and the poverty rate continues to grow as more than half of the children living there live below the poverty line.

Rev. Heyward Wiggins III of the Camden Bible Tabernacle expressed his thoughts in the summer to Philly.com, and his sentiment is shared by many in this city: “Right now, we are going to funerals of a lot of victims of the violence in the city, but we would love to bring about an atmosphere where we don’t have to attend funerals”.

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