June 16, 2015 |
Police in Camden are investigating a shooting early Sunday that claimed the life of one man and left three others wounded. The killing was the city's 11th this year. No arrests have been made, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said, and detectives were still trying to determine a motive. The shooting was reported shortly after midnight in the 2800 block of Mitchell Street in East Camden, authorities said. Police found Tito Gomez, 44, with a gunshot wound in a parking lot. He was pronounced dead an hour later at Cooper University Hospital.
May 16, 2015 |
Camden, ranked for long among the most violence-plagued cities in the country, is now a "national model" of policing, the city's mayor said Thursday as President Obama announced that he will visit next week to see for himself. The work of a county-run police force that took over patrolling in Camden two years ago has been hailed from City Hall to the governor's mansion. Gov. Christie and local officials have highlighted drops in various crime categories, including homicides, since the advent of the new force, attributing the progress to having more officers on the beat, new crime-fighting technologies, and greater community outreach.
May 14, 2015 |
Camden teachers on Tuesday decried the school district's latest round of layoffs, saying the city's students will suffer from the loss of more educators in schools that already are stretched thin. "I just don't understand how we are going to meet the needs of our student population," said Karen Borrelli Luke, a health and physical education teacher who is not facing a layoff. She was among those at the advisory school board's meeting Tuesday in East Camden who spoke to the board. "These layoffs impact all of us. " The state-run district is laying off 31 teachers, 46 student services staffers, and 12 members of the central office staff for budgetary reasons.
May 4, 2015 |
Preston Brown packed up a teenager's future this week. He gathered up the recruiting letters for one of Woodrow Wilson High School's most promising football players and delivered them to the family, along with his condolences. Brown said Ja'Meer Bullard was a "special talent" on the football field. But that's hardly the only reason why Brown has been so devastated by Bullard's death - so haunted by the eerie familiarity of the violence, so shocked by the harsh reality of another young life lost on Camden's streets.
April 29, 2015 |
The shrill blast of a lifeguard's whistle transports me from the Kroc Center in Camden back to a childhood swimming spot in Western Massachusetts. But the nostalgia must wait, because I've come to the Kroc's water park to watch a group of Camden students take an introductory swim lesson. And their bus just pulled up outside. "A lot of kids in this area don't have access" to lessons, aquatics supervisor Jim Warner says, standing in the lobby as 20 Davis School first graders arrive.
March 27, 2015 |
When the Camden Supper Club convenes, optimism is on the menu. The informal monthly dinner is a chance for young city residents, students, entrepreneurs, and others to break bread together - and enjoy a night out in a town they believe is on the rise. "This is amazing," Web designer Joseph Russell, 30, says, sampling stewed oxtail over rice Tuesday at the Reggae Grill on the 2100 block of Federal Street, where 15 people are sharing the table. Like Russell, a Collingswood resident, some live outside the city.
March 17, 2015 |
In Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard's first 18 months at the helm of Camden's state-run school district, his administration restarted the Safe Corridors program to help kids walk to school, added teacher-support systems such as one-on-one coaching, ushered in new technology, and increased pre-K enrollment to 96 percent. Rouhanifard has often said the greatest challenges lie ahead: improving school curriculum, test scores, and graduation rates and better preparing the city's students for jobs and higher education.
February 26, 2015 |
Growing up in East Camden, Virginia Matias wasn't allowed to ride her new bike around the block, or walk to the corner store. Her mother was robbed at gunpoint when Matias was in kindergarten, and when Matias was 17, her uncle was shot dead as he manned the cash register in his bodega. Matias, now a 28-year-old Camden County police officer, doesn't think about any of that when she walks the streets of North Camden. She thinks about the children she sees coming out to play and the business owners who know her name and face, or how she can gain the trust of the city's most cynical residents.
February 4, 2015 |
The Hummer got Da'Quan Johnson's attention. So did the good job, nice home, and loving family of his mentor, Tyrone Baker Jr. "I never really had anybody to guide me," says Johnson, who was a troubled East Camden middle school student when Baker took him under his wing in 2008. Seven years later, Johnson - having graduated last spring from Camden County Technical School - is studying criminal justice at the Camden campus of Camden County College, where he earned a 3.0 his first semester.
January 17, 2015 |
The bell buzzes, and a correctional officer unlocks the towering blue door into the Camden County Jail. A metal detector greets visitors. Cellphones stay at the front desk, coats on a nearby hanger. Two doors operated from a control room grudgingly slide open, leading to an elevator. It has only a few buttons - open door, close door, stop - no floor options. It, too, is operated from afar. The elevator opens on the seventh floor. To the right, past a green cage door, is the gym. On Thursday morning, at least, the room offered inmates a brief change of scene from the jail drab.