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Chief: GTPD Ready to Take on Lakeland Patrols

Gloucester Township Police Chief W. Harry Earle says the added patrol coverage won't have much impact on the way his department does things.

Gloucester Township Police Chief W. Harry Earle is confident local police are ready to take over patrols of Camden County-owned properties in the township's Lakeland section.

The local police force has spent the past few months learning the lay of the land in an area of the township Camden County Park Police have patrolled to this point.

"One important area that we did focus on was training," Earle said. "We wanted to ensure going through that process that we're familiar with that complex."

The coverage transition from county park to local police officers will be finalized Monday at 8 a.m.

Gloucester Township Police Department will now patrol and respond to calls for service at several county-owned properties in the Lakeland area, including the Camden County Juvenile Detention Center and Health Services Center-Ann A. Mullen Building, DiPiero Center, and Regional Emergency Training Center.

The township police force has long patrolled the Margaret "Marge" Martin Sports Complex, which includes football and softball fields and dek hockey rinks, and Senior Campus I in the Lakeland area.

"We're in there every day, doing numerous patrols," Earle said.

Not only is Earle confident in his officers' preparedness, but he also doesn't think the additional coverage area will impact his current department's operations all that much, if at all.

"Is there the same patrol plan that we've had before, with the amount of officers that go into there? No," he said. "There could certainly be some additional costs of service based on those facilities. But, in looking back at what our department has responded to, it's a small area, really, compared to the size of area and population that we serve."

Gloucester Township police officers will only respond to fire alarms, medical emergencies and other similar police matters at the juvenile facility. On average, Camden County Park Police have handled 15 to 20 such calls per year, Camden County spokesman Dan Keashen recently told Patch.

The township will not be compensated financially for picking up the additional coverage area at Lakeland.

"We're already there. We're already doing the work in that sense and, so, you know, it's difficult for us to go the county and say, 'We're already there, but give us more money.' At the end of the day, it may be different pots of money, but it's all taxpayer money," Mayor David Mayer said. "So we have to provide services in an efficient manner. And I think that this really is allowing us to do that by improving public safety there and doing something we already kind of do." 

Earle and Mayer noted the new arrangement will see township police pick up a satellite office in a county-owned building at Lakeland Road and Woodbury Turnersville Road, giving the department a facility on the township's west end.

Mayer noted the county will continue to own and maintain the Lakeland building that will serve as a home away from home, of sorts, for local police.

Joe September 28, 2012 at 02:57 PM
So our County taxes will be reduced, right? NOT! The County keeps doing less. Get rid of them.
L Redles September 29, 2012 at 02:10 AM
I hope there will be less speeding down Lakeland Rd. The NJ Transit buses don't even go slow!
Anonymous 4 CamCo September 29, 2012 at 04:40 PM
So according to Earl and Mayer the GTPD are there so it is acceptable to do the couny's job. Ok, we can accept this thought process and when it snows this winter township officials better not complain untreated roads are the county's responsibility. You are already there.
Paul J. DiBartolo September 29, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Mr. Dan Keashen states that we are already there, we are already doing the work so it's difficult to ask to actually get paid for it. Why, might I ask, are we already there? Why is Gloucester Township performing work for which it receives no compensation and for which it is not responsible? Mr. Keashen then states that although there are different pots of money, it is all taxpayer money...so, what the hey, right? First, allow me to commend Mr. Keashen for drawing such a suggestive picture by calling taxpayer money "different pots of money." I'm sure people who see it that way have no problem in spending it with the same careless abandon shown by this Mr. Keashen. I realize I'm slow...but I'm stupid...so maybe Mr. Keashen can help me understand something. When I pay a rate of 0.706/per $100 in county taxes, I assume that is for county needs. On the other hand, when I pay a rate of 0.825/per $100 in municipal taxes, that is for the needs in my township. So, everybody in Camden County pays the county tax and that is for the work of the county. Why then is my township performing county work for which it is not compensated and thus bankrolled by my municipal taxes? Where did you go to school, Mr. Keashen? Let me guess, NJ public schools. If not, I wouldn't advise you actually reveal where because that would only add insult to injury and make your teachers look bad. Your logic stinks.
Sean McCullen (Editor) September 29, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Apologies. The quote about "different pots of money" should be attributed to Mayor David Mayer. There was no attribution to that quote in the article, as initially published. The mayor and chief's point about "already (being) there" was not them stating that the township was already covering these county properties, but rather that the PD already has had officers patrolling other properties in that area, i.e. Senior Campus I and Marge Martin.
Paul J. DiBartolo September 29, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Oh wait, this gets better. Did I read this too fast and attribute to Mr. Keashen what he did not say? If so, my apologies to Mr. Keashen. The fact that Mr. Mayer said it is actually so much better. This is the kind of arrogance by our elected officials that builds so much good will between voters and politicians. Please explain, Mr. Mayer, what you mean by different pots of money. Taxpayer money is just that...taxpayer money. And you, Mr. Mayer, were elected, one might say hired, to serve in the interests of those taxpayers whose pots of money you are reaching into and spreading around so casually!
Anonymous 4 CamCo September 29, 2012 at 08:00 PM
"Apologies. The quote about "different pots of money" should be attributed to Mayor David Mayer". What is the difference which Norcrat said it, this is a disgusting way of thinking and it is exactly the way each of these criminals sees the people's money...as their own. It could have been Jeff Nash, freeholder, lobyist, DRPA commissioner and pension padder or Michelle Gentek, Mayer girl, lock-step Norcrat, green queen and yes girl for the machine. But it was Dave Mayer, lobyist, employer of an assemblywoman, high ranking Norcrat and now exposed as believing the people's money is in one big pot for the Norcrats and their friends to use for their own purposes. By the way, you should feel lucky, imagine how much more the all Norcrat freeloader board would have raised your taxes if they actually paid towns for "helping out". Just like the 2 MUA bills you all pay next will be 2 police bills for the new countywide police force. We the people just fill pot full money so the Norcrats can keep stealing it.
Sean McCullen (Editor) September 29, 2012 at 08:12 PM
No, I just did not attribute the quote to anyone at all, as initially published. It was an error on my part.
Paul J. DiBartolo September 29, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Stuff happens;-)

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