Deep cop layoffs hit violent city

CAMDEN – One of the most impoverished American cities lost about 350 city-workers yesterday in a very deep cut to municipal services, including about 150 police officers and 80 firefighters.

The layoffs, which occurred in somber ceremony throughout the day as firefighters handed in their helmets and police officers handed in badges, are part of an effort to close a massive city-budget deficit.

“It’s one of the worst days in the history of Camden,” Ken Chambers, city firefighters union president, told the Courier-Post of Camden yesterday.

City officials have said the layoffs are a combination of the deficit — caused by shrinking revenue from taxes — and an inability to find savings from negotiations with workers’ unions.

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