Man, 39, is year's first homicide victim in Camden
It was the first homicide of the new year in the city. There were 57 homicides in Camden in 2013, two on the last day of the year. In 2012, there were a record 67.
The victim, Tristan Fulton, was found just before 11 p.m. by Camden County Metro Police officers in the 1600 block of Louis Street in the Whitman Park section.
They were drawn by activation of the shot spotter, a gunfire detection system that alerts authorities to the location of shootings in the violence-plagued city.
The county police Metro Division began patrolling the city in April last year, replacing the city police department. Officials said the move - criticized by some as union-busting - was needed to shed overly generous police contracts and put more boots on the ground.
The 322-member county force is expected to grow to around 400 by summer.
Toward year's end, officials in Camden were noting a dip in overall crime, from 6,001 to 5,178 victims, though violent crime dipped only slightly.
In an interview late last month, Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson called the reductions "great indicators of significant progress," especially the decrease in homicides and the number of overall crime victims. A greater indicator, he said, is feedback from residents.
"We can be statistically driving crime down, but if people don't feel safe, those numbers are hollow," Thomson said.
- Inquirer staff