Police - Emergency Police Services
SWAT teams today have evolved with their fine tuning and evolution of their advanced tactics. Criminals also have a wide availability of equipment and training in these current times. Illegal distribution, selling, or using drugs has become the number one problem throughout the United States today. Criminals today not only target large cities, but also many small towns and municipalities. Therefore, in 1999, Ocean Township Police Department joined forces with the Barnegat Township Police Department to develop a joint SWAT team known as the Emergency Police Services team (EPS).
In July 1999, through the efforts of Captain Vogel (retired from Barnegat Township P.D. in May 2000) and Chief Kenneth Flatt (Ocean Township P.D.), three members of the Ocean Township P.D. began training with the team to become one. then purchased their own equipment at a cost of over $1200.00 each to get the unit started.
In May of 2000 after the retirement of Captain Vogel, Lt. Art Drexler (Barnegat Township P.D.) became the team commander. Currently one of the Ocean Township Police Officers now assigned to the EPS team is Ptl. Ward, who is the firearms training officer for Ocean Twp.
In order to become an EPS team member, you must first be in excellent physical condition and be a certified marksman in firearms. Then after being selected to the team, the candidate must pass a pre-test which includes a physical fitness test and a series of combat style firearms courses to be eligible to attend the Basic SWAT school. Upon completion of the course, the officers are certified in the use of hot and cold gases, as well as pyrotechnics or distractions devices.
They also receive training in automatic weapons, and employment of other type devices used by law enforcement officers in special circumstances.
After graduating from SWAT school, the EPS team trains a minimum of eight hours per month in all different situations and conditions. The team members must be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are required to carry their EPS equipment with them wherever they go in the event of a call-out.
The EPS team is responsible for serving high-risk search warrants and arrest warrants, hostage situations, barricaded gunmen, and other crisis situations that require the use of the teams' specialized training and skills.
The unit is prepared to assume full control of specific tactical situations which, by nature, would be considered excessively dangerous and complex, or which would require the use of a specialized team effort rather than independent action by individual officers. The EPS team executed sixteen high-risk search warrants in 2000 and as of March 2001, the team executed three high-risk search warrants.
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