CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s most impoverished and violent city plans to lay off one-fourth of city government workers, including about half the police department.

Camden’s City Council approved the plan unanimously on Thursday despite pleas from workers and residents to find a way to save the jobs.

The layoffs are to be effective Jan. 18. The state Civil Service Commission has already approved them.

There could be fewer layoffs if public employee unions agree to concessions.

Studies consistently find Camden to be among the most impoverished and crime-ridden cities in the country.

With a tiny tax base, it relies on the state for most of its funding. The state slashed aid this year because of a fiscal crisis of its own.

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