City officials are now budgeting $62 million for the county police force, several million more than the city department cost, though the new force is expected to field many more officers.
"The fiscal year 2014 budget I am introducing today reflects the needs, concerns, and priorities of our residents," Redd told Council.
Council unanimously approved the introduction, clearing the way for the city to apply for state transitional aid. Council can amend the budget before adopting it.
Officials did not provide a copy of the budget to the public, only a summary without details. Most of the fiscally strapped city's budget is funded by the state.
If Council adopts the plan as is, residents can expect their tax bills to be unchanged, and the tax levy will remain at $24 million. No city employees would be laid off, Redd said.
Camden will request nearly $14 million in transitional aid for a total of $112.5 million in state aid, up from the $102 million it received from the state for the 2013 fiscal year, which ended June 30. Applications for transitional aid are due Friday.
Gov. Christie has said that Camden and other municipalities must start weaning themselves off state aid.
By the end of 2013, the new Metro Division, which is patrolling the city, will consist of 401 sworn police officers and about 100 civilians, officials have said. The old city department had about 230 officers.
Redd said the new police force had proven effective, adding that the number of officers and civilian positions had been increased without any uptick in taxes. She said 155 of the metro police were former city officers.
Council President Frank Moran was not at Tuesday's meeting, but Vice President Curtis Jenkins said Moran would be back next week to start scrutinizing the budget proposal.
None of the Council members at Tuesday's meeting asked about the budget. Councilman Brian Coleman said after the meeting that he had quickly reviewed the budget and had a few small concerns with the police and fire line items.
"I have to get more information to see where the increases came from," Coleman said of the overall spending.
Kelly Francis, a longtime city resident, recognized that the budget was preliminary.
"This is a wing and a prayer," Francis said, expressing hope the city would receive transitional aid. "If we don't, there will be layoffs and cutbacks and all sorts of things. Christie may even say he'll give us the money now, but then what happens after he wins another four-year term?"
Francis was also concerned about how the Metro Division would affect the budget.
"They keep promising it's going to save money, it's going to be less. That's why we're doing it, that's why we abolished the Camden City Police Department," Francis said. "Well, if you saved the money, show us. That's what I want to see."
Redd said she was optimistic about securing federal aid - including Choice Neighborhood and Promise Neighborhood grants - that would allow additional redevelopment projects.
"When I presented my first budget speech to you three years ago, I made a promise that Camden would not be the poster child of mismanagement," Redd said. "Instead, Camden is talked about as a poster child of how to reform local government and how to bring revitalization in urban centers."
A hearing on the budget is to be at the Oct. 8 Council meeting.
Contact Claudia Vargas at 856-779-3917 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @InqCVargas. Read her blog, "Camden Flow," at www.inquirer.com/camdenflow