Sometimes, just for a moment, I find myself forgetting that Camden actually exists. It’s not that I actively choose to block it out of my mind, like my 15th birthday party, but it’s probably because Philadelphians only go to Camden for one of two things: the Aquarium or a Phish show.
But Camden, like a “troubled teen” who’s appeared on multiple episodes of Maury, just can’t get its act together. And much in the same way said troubled team needs discipline from an overbearing, ex-military/security guard, Camden needs help.
Yesterday, for the second year in a row, Camden, which has had 48 homicides so far (not going this morning), was named the 2nd most dangerous city in America according to the 2011 CQ Press City Crime Rankings. Flint, Michigan, which has appeared in more than one Michael Moore documentary, came in first, with Detroit, St. Louis and Oakland not far behind.
City officials and police have stated that massive budget problems and a deteriorating infrastructure have eroded the city’s ability to keep the peace. In an article for The Inky, one resident summed up Camden’s woes with what is surely the scariest quote you’ll hear all day, “We don’t have any real policing in Camden. They’re just out here to pick up the bodies.”
Seems we may want to start calling the Delaware River “River Styx” for good measure.