Camden's Turn | Not in Our Town

Camden's Turn



A documentary presented by Not In Our Town and the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office


About the Film

Camden’s Turn is a documentary about a police department and a community in the process of transformation.

As views of police and the communities they serve have become polarized across the country, Camden, NJ Police Chief Scott Thomson works to build relationships and calls on his officers “to shift from a warrior mentality to that of a guardian and community builder.” The film follows Chief Thomson, his command staff and officers, as they work to implement community policing reforms in Camden County. After the entire police force was laid off in 2012, Chief Thomson rebuilt the department and instituted a culture of community policing -- incorporating de-escalation training, engaging officers in sports, school programs and community events, putting officers on bikes in neighborhoods and parks, and getting officers out of patrol cars and walking the beat. After experiencing years of economic devastation and dramatically high crime rates, the city of Camden, NJ saw its police department dismantled in 2012 and replaced with a county-wide force. This film looks at the challenges the new agency faces as it works to build trust with the community, address bias, create new partnerships, and ultimately shift from a “warrior” mentality to that of a “guardian” and community builder. This film is part of the Working Together for Safe, Inclusive Communities Initiative, a collaboration between Not In Our Town and the U.S. Department of Justice’s office of Community Oriented Policing Services. This free resource is available for law enforcement agencies to use in their communities. For more information on Camden's Turn email

Running Time - 28:26


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