The weather may have been cool outside, but things are heating up in Gloucester County, as dozens of residents gathered outside the county courthouse Wednesday night to unite as one, and have their voices heard. Many spoke at Wednesday's rally, to explain to the public what they see as a safety concern in the community.
"If this goes through, and you do the numbers every month you can have 300 transports, vans, and police squad vehicles run up and down roads like route 45," Says one Correctional Officer.
"Those officers, support staff, in Cumberland County are going to be at risk. What are the plans, emphatically says another.
Organizers say that Wednesday's plan was to paint the picture of this being more than just a political issue. Organizers also claim that the merger is a job killer not only within the jail, but also outside the jail which includes small local business as well as restaurants. They say policing those areas may also be more difficult.
"It will affect the policing aspect of your community. Because at some point and time your local law enforcement officials are going to have to go out of this county to take arrestees to other correctional facilities," says a Correctional Officer.
That would also mean processing, filing additional warrants, interviews, and interrogations would also have to be done in Cumberland County versus doing so in Gloucester county's fairly new facility. As of now the merger remains in limbo, as votes to finalize the deal in Cumberland County have been shelved for further review. So for now, these residents will continue to protest and wait.