This time they mean it

Everybody knows “The School-Board Game.” It’s the playbook response of smug, local-government Liberals, to turn communities against citizens asking to control spending: “Okay, we’ll just have to eliminate band and football.”  Elsewhere along the government food chain, it’s “Okay, we’ll just have to lay off police and firefighters.”

Except in one New Jersey town, they’re serious.

According to the real-estate data service Neighborhood Scout, you’re almost eight times likelier to become a victim of violent crime in Camden, New Jersey, than anywhere in New Jersey as a whole. The Camden Police must keep busy, right?

Well, yes…but the city can’t afford them.

Camden is eliminating its police department and entrusting public safety functions to a new metro division of county police. Slightly fewer than half the current Camden cops will be transferred to county employment.

You’ve probably guessed why this is happening but we’ll tell you anyway. Officials say the change is needed to get Camden out from under collective bargaining agreements it can’t sustain, and that it will actually increase the number of officers on the streets.

Friday’s Wall Street Journal reported that police layoffs and budget problems have led the city to impose a curfew—now under court challenge—on most businesses, forcing 11 p.m. closures to curb loitering by young people involved in criminal activity.

The county’s new Metro Division will have a budget of about $65 million, which the Journal reports is close to what Camden spends on its police force now, but reducing collectively-bargained benefits will free about $18 million of that amount—an astonishing 27 percent—to hire additional officers.

Job-related benefits are great—until they force employers to start shedding the jobs themselves.

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About Wisconsin Club for Growth
The Club for Growth is a national network of over 40,000 men and women, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. Wisconsin Club for Growth, Inc. is dedicated to informing, educating and rallying citizens of Wisconsin to embrace and enact policies that lead to sustained economic growth, limited government, and minimal taxation. Wisconsin Club for Growth can and will have an enormous impact on the direction of our state. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes that effective lobbying is done at all stages of the budget cycle, including when our leaders make public promises and can be encouraged to support policies that spur economic growth. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes we must support pro-growth policies and encourage public officials with backbones to remain truly committed to making our economy and our state stronger. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes our leaders must stand up to the tax and spend mentality in Madison and work tirelessly to cut taxes and unleash the power of the free-market.

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