Crime and Drug Abue in Camden, Nj

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November 2, 2006

Mayor's Office
520 Market Street
City Hall, Fourth Floor
P.O. BOX 95120
Camden, New Jersey 08101-5120

RE: Crime and Drug Abuse in Camden

Dear Mayor Faison,
My name is Jeffrey Ho. Currently I am a student of Rutgers University. I grew up in Pennsauken, and then moved out to the Voorhees Area. I am very aware of the conditions in Camden, NJ, and am writing you today to propose a joint project that will help clean the streets of Camden, NJ. The reason that I feel very passionate about this project is mainly because I feel that Camden, NJ, has deteriorated dramatically in the last 10 years and each time I go back, it gets scarier, dirtier, and worse. Through research and studies, we must find the best possible method for obtaining a cleaner, safer, and more attractive city of Camden. Problem

There are many problems with Camden, NJ: Low incomes, old buildings, crime, drugs, prostitution and, of course, murder rates. The major problem that this proposal focuses on is clearing the streets of filth. Crime is possibly the most disastrous problem with Camden, NJ. Drug abuse and drug trafficking has risen to be one of the top businesses in Camden and violent crime is still very high. Based on statistics reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Camden was the third-most dangerous city in the United States during 2002, and has been ranked the nation's most dangerous city in 2004 and 2005. "Most dangerous city" is based on crime statistics in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft. (http://www.morganquitno.com/index.htm) Despite recent positive trends, crime rates remain high. According to the County Prosecutor's office, homicide is the leading cause of death for residents ages 15 to 24. "Much of this crime can be attributed to the open drug trade that employs approximately 2,200 Camden residents, attracts over 50 percent of its buyers from outside the city, and generates over $200 million per year in sales" (Path 9) The city suffers due to the mistrust between the community and law enforcement officials resulting from a history of racial tension between residents and law enforcers. According to Smith and Thompson, "a recent CCOP survey found that 51 percent of Camden's residents choose not to report crimes that they witness to the police. In addition to a fear of retaliation by criminals, their reasons for this also include a general mistrust of police. Sixty-five percent of survey respondents indicated that they did not feel safe at night." (9)

Children frequently become involved in associated illegal activities. Often they are employed as "scouts", locating police and bringing customers. In return, they receive new running shoes, free drugs, or cash on average twice the weekly minimum wage. (Introduction 879) In 2000 there were over 5,000 youth arrests and there were more arrests of 13-year-olds than of 17-year-olds. "The AHEC study also found that drug and alcohol abuse affect the lives of more than 40 percent of Camden's children." (Path 9)

Figure 1: NJ Rehab statistics 2005

STATE:
NEW JERSEYTotalAlcohol onlyAlcohol with secondary drugCocaine (smoked)Cocaine (other route)Mari- juanaHeroinMeth

Total No.54,3938,9066,2723,6011,8425,67226,506129
%100.016.411.56.63.410.448.70.2

AGE AT ADMISSION 0.00.00.00.00.0
30.90.00.0
0-11 years%
12-17 years%4.61.15.80.71.819.90.612.4
18-20 years%6.62.36.22.34.422.65.911.6
21-25 years%12.87.113.17.712.211.813.310.1
26-30 years%13.08.812.513.417.16.414.313.2
31-35 years%17.512.317.125.924.24.520.211.6
36-40 years%18.620.120.026.019.92.119.723.3
41-45 years%13.718.614.415.213.01.014.38.5
46-50 years%7.513.16.15.74.70.57.77.0
51-55 years%3.58.13.01.91.60.13.01.6
56-60 years%1.45.01.10.70.90.10.70.8
61-65 years%0.41.70.40.10.20.00.10.0
66 years and...
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