Nightly News | February 19, 2011
>> thank you. we turn tonight to an american city we reported on recently. camden , new jersey. peter alex ander tonight.
>> reporter: ranked the country's second most dangerous city, camden , new jersey is crippled by poverty, crime and a budget deficit . here place face the task of patr patrolling the streets with nearly half of the old force after city hall laid off officer officers last month. officers from camden and nearby cities are sitting their sights elsewhere. 26-year-old martinez a second generation officer was forced to turn in his badge a year after service.
>> like several other cities, nashville, tennessee is growing. detective keeler is recruiting here in camden . part of an effort to hire new officers over the next 18 months.
>> they need jobs, we need officers.
>> reporter: everyone of these men and women faces the same recruiting process. and each new hire will have to begin again at nashville's police academy .
>> i wake up and think i would have been at work today.
>> reporter: the city's crime rate has spiked. 15 shootings nearly a 15% jump over the year before.
>> the ultimate solution would be the city, the mayor, getting their act together and bringing back the police officers that they have laid off.
>> reporter: camden 's mayor says the officers wouldn't accept lower salaries a charge the union disputes.
>> is that good?
>> reporter: if he is hired, mar martinez will leave his mother's home.
>> sometimes you have to make changes. i want him to have a future.
>> reporter: for now his future is uncertain. much like the city he once took an oath to protect.