Today, President Obama traveled to Camden, New Jersey — a city that has struggled with one of the nation's highest violent crime rates. Dedicated to building a stronger, safer community, the Camden County Policy Department and the community have worked together to help police do their jobs more safely, to reduce crime, and to create more economic opportunity in communities that have been saddled with a history of isolation.  As President Obama said, it will take a concerted, “all-hands-on-deck” effort to change the odds for these communities:  If we as a society don’t do more to expand opportunity to everybody who’s willing to work for it, then we’ll end up seeing conflicts between law enforcement and residents. If we as a society aren’t willing to deal honestly with issue of race, then we can't just expect police departments to solve these problems. If communities are being isolated and segregated, without opportunity and without investment and without jobs — if we politicians are simply ramping up long sentences for nonviolent drug crimes that end up devastating communities, we can't then ask the police to be the ones to solve the problem when there are no able-bodied men in the community, or kids are growing up without intact households. read more

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Why President Obama is Taking Steps to Demilitarize Local Police Forces