Budget forces NJ to slash police, firefighter ranks - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Budget forces NJ to slash police, firefighter ranks

CAMDEN, NJ (NBC) - More than 300 police officers and firefighters have been laid off due to New Jersey's budget woes, despite being one of the nation's most crime-ridden cities.

Camden Mayor Dana Redd said the cuts had to be made due to the city's budget crisis. The layoffs are due to the city's budget deficit of $26 million.

Redd also claims that union leaders should have done more to compromise. Union concessions could have saved 100 jobs.

"They occurred because police and fire departments decided to stay with the status quo," Redd said. "Now I ask you, what have police and fire unions done to find meaningful solutions?"

Redd requested all four bargaining units of Camden's Fraternal Order of Police to cut $2 million.

"My last hope being a state delegate was when we had set up a meeting with the mayor Friday," said Pete Perez, a member of the Firefighter's Union. "The mayor did not attend that meeting."

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