Buying Drugs in Camden? Smile, You're Getting Photographed

Camden city and county authorities are using license plate readers to track drug buyers, especially those that come into Camden specifically to buy street narcotics.

Camden County and city officials have a message for drug buyers: stay out of Camden. And now they have increased technology behind their efforts to slow street narcotics sales.

Police are using surveillance cameras to identify and track cars used by drug buyers, in a move announced by Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk, Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson and Camden Mayor Dana Redd.

Authorities will contact car owners to inform them that their automobiles were identified at the scene of a drug buy.

“The owners won’t be charged, but they will receive letters warning them that in the future police will be on the lookout for these cars in the city, and will take action if circumstances warrant,” the county prosecutor’s office said in a release. “That action could extend to seizing the vehicle, if police see its driver engaging in further illegal activity.”

The license plates will be programmed into a license plate reader, a device in all city police cruiser that can read tags. The readers can be programmed to alert officers if cars identified in previous drug buys return to the city.

While Camden is the site of drug buys—including a well-known open air drug dealing spot at 6th and York—authorities said it’s often county suburban residents who come into the city seeking narcotics. The 6th and York location, for example, is a popular spot to purchase heroin.

The intersection of 6th and York drew the city police department’s attention due to the extraordinary volume of open air drug dealing taking place there at almost every hour of the day. The area is also easily accessible to suburban residents. Typically buyers come to the area to purchase heroin.

“The open-air drug market is the single greatest contributor to violence, criminal activity and the diminishment of our residents' quality of life in Camden, and it is being funded by every person who swings through the city to buy illegal drugs,” Chief Thomson said. “While we aggressively target the dealers themselves, it’s imperative the police department take steps necessary to disrupt the customers who keep fueling the problem.”

Betty Rogers February 13, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I'm glad to know there still officers of law are equipped with new devices cameras etc. Crime is everywhere,but the lawlesss should't be able out smart the law enforcement.prayer is always in order.Heights of Collingswood Apt.need to check teenagers not attending school.sitting ln the lobbies,stairways,sliding cards down the front doors,make the door open with a key.Thank you for listennig.Make sure your badges are real please,workers don't wear ID.
Your Government Lies February 13, 2012 at 07:27 PM
If you guys think this is the right way to police you are wrong. This isn't even band-aiding the situation, it's merely bypassing it. This system won't stop junkies from copping drugs in Camden. If any one of you naive suburbanites knew anything about the camera set up in Camden you'd be bad mouthing it as I am. Right now, the police aren't doing anything to stop the drug trade by snapping pics of these cars, and what they have (unless it is a blatant drug transaction) won't stand up in court. Sure maybe they can list tags and give summons for traffic violations, but they can't say just because you were there you were buying drugs. What this is doing in essence, is stabbing all the rich suburbanites in their wallets so camden can get more money. In no way is this going to slow or stop the drug trade in camden. Sure Camden cops are working on busting drug dealers but you know what? Without drug dealers camden wouldn't make any money. Why do you think there aren't camera's on every corner? Oh wait... you wouldn't know that because you don't know a single thing about how or why this is in place. They are basically pushing dealers and users to certain blocks, and keeping them off others (or at least trying to deter them) by putting in place these cameras. Please people, take a moment to think about it. They could never rid camden of drugs, it'd be the stupidest thing they could do.
George Hall March 17, 2012 at 01:31 PM
They have been selling drugs on the same streets for over 30 years.They are hugh profits being made by both parties.Now lets punish the people who purchase these drugs and charge them with fines just to create a new why to generate income into the city.As I said the same streets have been open for business for over 30 years how we take pictures of the dealers themselves and charge them.How about having unmarked cars and mark cars on corners of these streets to enforce that there is no drug dealing and if you are caught buying or selling you would get the maximum punishment. Its amazing that we have enough force to bring down small countries in just over a year but cant not handle 4 or 5 street corners.it kind of makes ya scratch your head and say hm-mm.
Jay April 10, 2013 at 09:24 PM
The cameras actually do nothing. People just wait until the camera rotates around
Dan Letterman December 16, 2013 at 01:46 PM
You idiots. Prohabition did not work in the 30s, and its not working now. There are more dealers than ever, and prices have risen 88%, and thats taking into account the currency values from the 80s, as opposed to now. You ever notice when you tell your child to stay away from the cookie jar they wait til you arent looking and take it? All prohabition has done is raise crime, murder, overdose, and user rates 100 percent per capita. That means that if ten people in a town were using in 1980, and the population stays the same, 20 people are using now. The high profit margin attracts dealers, and the more the cops do, the more dealers come. This is all in plain sight, but you idiots think,"drugs are bad lets arrest users." Little do you nieve morons know that arresting users does nothing. Arresting dealers may, but they dont follow guidelines set up by Regan himself. Your all idiots, I hate you and your 2 digit iq deeply


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