Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Christie On Police: Camden Shows Us The Way!
Steve Adubato: Governor, I’m going to try one more on this, and I totally respect and understand where you are coming from. But, as a former prosecutor who understands this really well, and also a governor who ran and got a very large percentage of the black and Latino vote and, you work hard in black churches and black community to gain trust – here’s my question: What do you believe needs to be done to try to strengthen what is clearly a strained and difficult and painful and unhealthy relationship between many in the black community and the police department? Not just in New York city but New Jersey, as well?
Governor Christie: Well, listen, I think less talking and more doing.
Steve Adubato: Of?
Governor Christie: Of this. Let's look at Camden for a minute, Steve, where we have worked incredibly hard, the state and the county and the local government to reestablish law and order in Camden. But, to do it in a way where the community feels empowered. So if you look at what has happened in Camden over the last two years, murders are down 58% with the new police force that we put in effect – the county police force, that has a metro division that covers Camden. 400 police officers on the street there. And just this week, you had Camden police officers dressed as Santa Claus going door to door in some of the most under privileged neighborhoods in Camden and giving out gifts that they had collected for those children in those under privileged families. They want to make a community a part of the law enforcement community and they want to build trust and respect between the citizens and themselves and the citizens are participating in that and benefitting. I think the model that we have established here in Camden could be a model that folks consider around the country.
Steve Adubato: Do you believe in Newark, where the federal government has taken over the police department and in other places like New York City, because people care what you say nationally, Governor – you know that as well as I do – do you believe that Camden model has the potential?
Governor Christie: I absolutely do. Remember, Camden for a number of years was considered and ranked the most dangerous city in America. So, if it can work in Camden, yeah, I think it can work anywhere.