When the Camden, N.J., county police agency launches next year, civilian police aides will have a greater role to free up patrol officers and reduce costs.
The aides—unarmed, uniformed civilians without arrest powers—will be trained to collect evidence at crime scenes, respond to radio calls for nonviolent crimes, and relieve officers so they can complete reports once a scene is safe.
In some cases, a civilian police aide may be the only person in uniform that victims will encounter. A handful of aides will assist in domestic violence investigations, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.
In late 2011, Camden Mayor Dana Redd agreed to dissolve the Camden Police Department in favor of a countywide police agency.