Changes in Policing Take Hold in One of the Nation’s Most Dangerous Cities

It’s a sort of Hippocratic ethos: Minimize harm, and try to save lives. And in Camden, N.J., residents are noticing the results.

By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN
APRIL 2, 2017
CAMDEN, N.J. — Every few months, the police chief here asks which officers wrote the most tickets.

Elsewhere, this might lead to praise, but in Camden — where 40 percent of residents live below the poverty line, the murder rate compares to that of El Salvador and one of the most interesting experiments in American policing is underway — Chief J. Scott Thomson sees aggressive ticket writing as a sign that his officers don’t get the new program.

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