The Camden County Superior Court Assignment Judge nominated to replace Republican Supreme Court Justice Helen Hoens, made not one but two decisions earlier this year that some say was crucial to the county moving forward with its police force.
As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, in 2012 Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina ruled against putting the matter of disbanding the Camden police to create a county police department before voters in a special summer election.
But a few months prior to that decision, Fernandez-Vina also shot down an attempt by the Camden Fraternal Order of Police to get an injunction and halt the creation of the county police force. As my colleague Darran Simon reported in April, in denying the injunction, Fernandez-Vina did not rule on the FOP’s argument that the county and city's plan create the new force violated shared-services requirements because a shared service agreement is not yet in place.
At the time, union leaders feared that the city and county were waiting until the last minute to pass a shared services agreement so the violation argument would be moot. They turned out to be right. On May 1, Camden City Council passed a resolution approving a shared services agreement between city and county for police services just before Gov. Christie came to town to give his blessing for the new county police department.