I’ll be issuing another reminder on this blog for those of you who share my partisanship. If you haven’t read yet, I fully endorse Joshua Rocks for Camden County Freeholder. Right now, that endorsement means two things: getting Josh’s name out there and making sure people know when the primary is. I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t use a bit of help with making sure more people know who Josh is.
The platform he’s running on is terrific, and I wanted to share a highlight or two from his webpage, “Rocks for Freeholder.” The current Board of Freeholders has a peculiar relation to law and law enforcement:
The current mismanagement of county government is leading to a crisis in public safety for Camden County residents. The county jail suffers from overcrowding and elevators that do not work. These are producing lawsuits against Camden County from inmates citing unfair and cruel conditions. The lawsuits drain more county resources and the taxpayers are being stuck with the bill.
The Sheriff and Prosecutor’s office have taken a severe reduction in force, causing layoffs of investigators and officers. The people of Camden County should not be forced to suffer from these cuts because our existing freeholders cannot manage their budget.
I often like to say the end of government is justice; regimes that are perceived to be unjust always face popular revolt, for good reason. To expand just a bit on the prosecutor’s layoffs – it may be the case few will be laid off, but there will be furlough days. Originally 66 people were told they would be cut. I’m not clear on how any of this makes it look like the county is being well-managed. Either you need the staff – prosecutors – or you don’t. I strongly suspect the staff is needed, but if it isn’t, why were so many hired in the first place?
The jail is an absolutely ridiculous situation. An article where the corrections officers’ union blasts the management of the jail tells all you need to know:
“If there’s a fight or a medical emergency, we can’t count on the elevators to be working,” said Rob Parker, president of Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 351. “Response times have tripled. You’re going up five flights of stairs in some cases.”
The elevator problems have been an issue at the jail for years. But they have intensified since November. Only two of the jail’s six elevators are running, Parker said.
There’s more to tell you about the jail – the article I’m looking for I can’t find right now. Suffice to say things have to change in Camden County; we need people a bit more serious about law and order. The budget is important not because of the numbers – anyone can cut a budget – but because of what government is supposed to be doing.