GTPD cuts ribbon on new training center at outlets

Gloucester Premium Outlets home to new GTPD police training center

The Gloucester Township Police Department cuts the ribbon as it officially opened its new training center at the Gloucester Premium Outlets. Pictured, from left, celebrating with the officers are Derek Bachman, Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera, General Manager Alfred Sherwood, Mayor David Mayer, Deputy Chief David Harkins, Chief Harry Earle and Lt. Chris Crabtree. (ELDON GRAHAM/The Sun)

Mayor David Mayer and officials joined the Gloucester Township Police Department at the Gloucester Premium Outlets to officially cut the ribbon on the newest feature of the department, the Police Training Center.

The GTPD has partnered with the outlets by creating the Gloucester Township Police Training Center, located at Suite 437 in the Carriage Court section of the outlets. The outlets donated space to be used by the GTPD as a training center to further train officers more effectively and also give the Support Services Division space to hold police-conducted community meetings and special events such as the Junior Police Academy and Citizens Police Academy.

Not only is the GTPD thrilled to have space, the township is ecstatic as well.

“It increases our overall policing strategies here in Gloucester Township,” said Mayer. “The visibility that our police department has throughout the community and now the presence here in the Gloucester Premium Outlets will certainly enhance our services. This training facility will certainly enhance the officers not only from Gloucester Township but from other communities that come in and train with our officers.”

This training center is the first of its kind in Gloucester Township and was envisioned by the department heads.

“Chief Earle partnered with the Gloucester Premium Outlets and asked them if we could come up with some kind of program or have a center for which we could be trained on,” said Lt. Chris Crabtree. “With the center, he thought it would be a really good idea to have us here, which would help deter crime. You have officers walking around all the time. Plus we have retail theft officers, we have two of them, they are assigned to nothing but shopliftings and they are going to use this as a satellite office as well.”

The GTPD training center will also be the location of several new summertime programs for youth in Gloucester Township.

“Like the junior police academy, they can come here during the inclement weather and maybe do some part-time or classroom stuff,” said Crabtree.

The training center is open to several events that involve the police department.

The center is equipped with the basic needs to suit the GTPD, whether it’s to teach anything from tactical training to cognitive training. (ELDON GRAHAM/The Sun)

The Gloucester Premium Outlets provide the GTPD with another opportunity to connect better with the community by walking around the outlets and engaging with community members.

Although the training center is a branch of the GTPD, its should not be considered an actual police department. It is not a substation. It’s unmanned and will be used on a case-by-case basis. The officers who choose to use the center will have to clear it with the department before it can be used.