FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2007

CONTACT: Wayne Avery 908-527-4742/
cell 908-267-3183
               Sebastian D’Elia 908-527-4419/
cell: 908-770-3662

 

NEW COUNTY PATROL UNIT OFFERS QUICK RESPONSE TO GUN VIOLENCE
SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIT TO ASSIST ALL COUNTY MUNICIPALITIES

Elizabeth - A new Special Operations Unit within the Union County Police Department will assist local police with rapid response to emergencies involving firearms.  Specially trained and equipped officers in the new unit are also assigned to regular patrol duties, so they are available immediately to contain violent situations until a SWAT team arrives.

“Public safety remains one of our highest priorities,” said Union County Freeholder Chairwoman Bette Jane Kowalski.  “The Special Operations Unit can provide swift, lifesaving assistance to local police in an emergency.”

The ten-officer unit is highly trained in responding to gun violence, entering buildings under high risk situations, and gaining access to locked or barricaded buildings and vehicles.  The training includes the use of advanced protective equipment, weapons, and breaching tools.  The officers also possess additional background experience in paramedic training, and in weaponry instruction.

The Special Operations Unit was initially formed and trained to improve public safety at county-owned facilities, including the jail, juvenile detention center, and courthouse.

“With its highly developed skills, the Special Operations Unit will be a valuable resource for all local police departments in the county,” said Freeholder Chester Holmes, a retired police officer and detective, and the Chairman of the Freeholder’s Homeland Security subcommittee.

The Special Operations Unit is also available to assist local police departments in executing emergent searches and warrants when an immediate need for action is necessary.

“Last year’s shooting at Virginia Tech University shows that every community should have these advanced public safety services available,” said Chairwoman Kowalski.  “This added layer of protection will enable municipalities to maintain coverage during any crisis.”

The Special Operations Unit is immediately available on request from any municipal police force within Union County.