Children who live in crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey are growing up in some of the poorest households in the state. Their parents bolt the doors and windows each night, burdened by a now-paralyzed Camden police department that was gutted last year due to a budget deficit. A Philadelphia Daily News article cites damning statistics for the city: there was a 45 percent increase in aggravated assaults with a firearm in December of 2011 from the year previous, while CQ Press’s City Crime Rankings slotted Camden at number two in the nation’s most dangerous cities (just behind Flint, Michigan). In Camden “nearly 7,700 fewer arrests were made last year than in 2010,” reports The Star-Ledger, as violent crimes—shootings, homicides, and robberies—surged following police department layoffs that sent 168 officers packing.
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