Gloucester Township Council on Monday agreed to move forward with the purchase of a vehicle that would allow police to move more quickly in the event of a school shooting.
Police Chief W. Harry Earle met with Council during its work session Monday night to discuss the new SWAT vehicle.
The Lenco armored police rescue vehicle will cost roughly $250,000, Business Administrator Tom Cardis said. It will be purchased using both unused capital improvement funds from prior years, going back to 2007, and proceeds from drug forfeiture cases.
Earle referenced recent meetings with Mayor David Mayer on school security in the township in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
"This vehicle would be used by our Special Response, or SWAT, team and would be used during all of their tactical operations," the police chief said. "It's an armored rescue vehicle that would enable them to approach locations safely and evacuate injured officers, injured civilians."
Council must first approve an ordinance allowing the township to use unexpended capital funds. That ordinance will likely be heard on second reading and adopted at Council's Jan. 28 meeting.
"An armored vehicle like this would help better assist the police department in moving forward into a dangerous area without getting police or other people injured," Council President Glen Bianchini said.
No Camden County municipality has such a vehicle at this moment, Earle said.
Correction: This article, as initially published on Jan. 10, erroneously indicated Council would not consider the ordinance to use unexpended capital funds on second reading until Feb. 11.