Camden County Police Chief J. Scott Thomson will accept Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden’s 2015 Justice in ACTION Organizational Award on behalf of the Camden County Police Department at Catholic Charities’ annual Justice for All Dinner this September.
The Camden County Police Department recently received a visit from President Obama where he praised the work of Chief Thomson and upheld the police department’s community-based policing methods as a model for the nation.
“Now, to be a police officer takes a special kind of courage,” President Obama said in remarks delivered at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden on May 18. “And when you match courage with compassion, with care and understanding of the community —like we’ve seen here in Camden — some really outstanding things can begin to happen.”
Catholic Charities’ annual dinner each year honors organizations and individuals throughout the six Southern New Jersey counties of the Diocese of Camden who advance the cause of justice in their communities. The great strides made by the Camden County Police Department over the last two years in improving public safety by building a relationship of trust in the community made it an obvious choice for this year’s organizational awardee, organizers said.
“Our mission calls us to serve the most vulnerable in our diocese. In its commitment to reducing violence in a city where 40 percent of residents live below the federal poverty level, the Camden County Police Department shares in that mission by protecting the vulnerable and cultivating peace. And they’ve done so in a way that strengthens city residents’ own ability to participate in that work,” said Kevin Hickey, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden.
The 2014 Justice in ACTION individual awardee has not yet been named.
The Justice for All Awards Dinner has the dual purpose of honoring the extraordinary service performed in the Diocese of Camden by the recipients of the Justice in Action awards, and raising funds that allow Catholic Charities to provide direct assistance to those they serve. Catholic Charities will serve more than 1,800 individuals and families within the six southern New Jersey counties that make up the Diocese of Camden with the funds raised by the dinner. Since its inception in 2004, the dinner has raised more than $640,000. Funds are used to end crises, prevent evictions and utility disconnection (electric, gas and oil), provide food and prescription needs, and create stabilization within families.
The Justice for All Awards Dinner will be held Sept. 17, 5:30-9 p.m., at Adelphia Grand Ballroom in Deptford.