Crime Reduction Unit Making Impact in Barnegat

Jan 16, 2019

Last year saw the launching of the Barnegat Township Police Department’s fully staffed Crime Reduction Unit, which was designed to focus on drug, gang and major investigations. Police Chief Keith Germain said CRU made 125 arrests in 2018, with 79 of those arrests involving drug distribution. In addition, the unit seized over $80,000 in contraband, including $15,000 in heroin, $8,000 in cocaine, $12,000 in U.S. currency, and $40,000 worth of vehicles used in the commission of a crime. CRU also executed 10 search warrants.

“What CRU accomplished in just one year is nothing short of outstanding,” he said.

He said in addition to the many drug charges for substances from heroin to methamphetamine, CRU investigations resulted in a wide range of non-drug charges for everything from possession of a handgun to prostitution.

“CRU’s impact on keeping crime at historically low levels in Barnegat cannot be understated,” Germain said. “Detective Rich Nowak has done an excellent job leading the unit from its inception. CRU cannot exist without a properly staffed agency, so I also thank the township committee for understanding that and giving us the resources necessary to make it a reality.”

Mayor Alfonso Cirulli said that when Germain became chief last February, he listed the CRU as one of several objectives outlined to upgrade the department.

“We went over his plans and  thought this was feasible,” said Cirulli. “I’m very pleased because law enforcement all over the state faces an opioid crisis. This unit will help drive drug dealers out of Barnegat. We have to make this a safe town, especially for our children, so they don’t get caught up in the drug epidemic.” E.E. 

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