Dodge on the Delaware
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored." As you read this, the City of Camden, NJ has had to lay off 170 police officers. One of the most dangerous urban areas in this nation has lost half of its law enforcement in one fell swoop.
Oh well. It's Dodge City, right? What happens there, unfortunate as it might be, doesn't matter to people living snug in their middle class neighborhoods, where Girl Scout cookie season is about to begin and the grocery aisles are loaded with Valentines.
Welcome to the modern world. The world where we balance state budgets on the backs of the poorest residents. But is this a world where only they will suffer?
We are no longer living in the Middle Ages, in a time where people walked to and from most places that they visited in a lifetime. Oh no. We've got cars, and an El train, and we can really get around.
Who benefits most from the huge reduction in the police force of Camden? Two groups. Drug dealers. And their customers.
Who are these customers? Ah, here's where we differ from Dodge! The majority of drug customers depending on Camden are residents of the wealthier communities surrounding it. The junk rolls out of Camden in cars that wind up driving slowly through white-bread neighborhoods all done up for Christmas. And the users of street pharm drive themselves to corners in Camden, where they get what they need before sprinting back to the McMansion.
In this modern world we are all connected. Police are laid off in Camden, and the students in The Spare's high school come to class with hooded eyes and dilated pupils. Police are laid off in Camden, and a cranked-up driver on the New Jersey Turnpike sparks a multi-car pileup. Police are laid off in Camden, and grandmothers weep. Grandmothers in Camden, grandmothers in Snobville, grandmothers in the Pine Barrens.
Our governor is sending a message: No one cares about you, Camden. Get over it. But the message will resonate throughout a whole region -- everyone under the sun that rises over Camden.
Fewer cops in Camden? You can hear the sighs of relief from the drug dealers ... and from their customers far and wide.
Shame on this state. Shame, shame, shame. Threefold Law upon those who have brought this about.