Nearby Camden is recognized as one of the most dangerous and impoverished cities in the country. In recent years there has been a large scale revitalization project to try and return the city to the prosperous and industrious state it once was. Everything from the schools, police, tax, business, and nearly every other aspect of the way the city was running needed an overhaul. Here is a little update on how things are going:
Camden has become a bit of a test for the future of policing. Since the city was so overrun with criminal activity, numerous extreme policing tactics that had not been done elsewhere were used in the city. There has been a ton of talk about these futuristic technologies and how they have helped to drop crime rates in the city. There are now microphones located on pretty much every corner of Camden that are programmed to hear a gunshot and immediately send an alert to the police. These microphones can even tell the exact coordinates of where the shot came from and sometimes what type of gun it was fired from. There are also hundreds of surveillance cameras on nearly every corner that deter any criminal activity. Overall, these efforts helped to decrease violent crimes in the city by thousands per year since the futuristic policing tactics came to be in 2011. However, Camden remains one of the most dangerous cities in the country despite all the efforts to turn it around.
There has been an effort made to revitalize business in Camden, specifically by the historic waterfront. There have always been attractions like the aquarium, the New Jersey Battleship, and the BB&T Pavilion that have drawn people to the waterfront. The State of New Jersey has tried to entice more businesses to come to the city by offering great tax advantages. These tax breaks combined with the central location near Philadelphia enticed companies like WebiMax LLC, Lockheed Martin, Subaru, Cooper Health, and many more to come to the city and bring thousands of jobs with them. Most famously, the Philadelphia 76ers moved their practice facility and offices to Camden after they received nearly $90 million in tax incentives. One thing is clear, Camden is committed to bringing businesses back to the city, evident by the estimated $1.3 billion in tax breaks that were given out.
The efforts to bring back business and discourage crime have been largely effective. Camden was in one of the worst positions of any city in the country as recently as 2014, but things have begun to turn around. Crime is down and businesses are returning, but the revival has only begun. As Philadelphia continues to flourish, Camden will reap the benefits of only being right across the bridge. More businesses will continue to be drawn to the city for the tax breaks and economic opportunities is has to offer. It is certainly not back to it’s most glorious days, but if these efforts keep up Camden is on the track back to being the booming city it once was.
It will take some time for Camden to shake the negative stigma it currently has, but it can happen. More and more young people are flocking to the city for job and living opportunities. If nothing else, the last few years have proved that there is still hope for Camden.