Home Voorhees News Police department saves township tax dollars through LESO program

Police department saves township tax dollars through LESO program

Committee passed a resolution earlier this month, continuing the Voorhees Police Department’s involvement in a Department of Defense program

Since at least 2012, when Louis Bordi was named Voorhees police chief, the department has been registered with the Department of Defense Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) program.

The program — according to the Defense Logistics Agency website — allows for the “transfer of excess Department of Defense property, that might otherwise be destroyed, to law enforcement agencies across the United States and its territories.”

Items available through the program may include high-value and equally as impressive vehicles and equipment, such as Humvees, utility vehicles, binoculars and more, as well as lesser equipment and items that can be used by local departments across the country rather be destroyed or wasted.

After being approved and verified to participate in the LESO program each year — a move  Voorhees Township approved at its committee meeting Jan. 13 — departments can search for vehicles, equipment and more on a constantly updated database. A request for the item(s) is submitted and, if approved, the items are free, with no expense to the taxpayer of the awarded department..

Upkeep such as gas or maintenance is on the department.

Although he’s unsure of how much equipment or how many vehicles the police department has received over the years through the LESO program, Bordi said the value in receiving  top-notch equipment that can immediately help serve and protect the public — with no taxpayer cost — cannot be understated.

“It’s extremely important,” Bordi noted. “It avails local municipalities and cities across New Jersey to get equipment that they might not otherwise ever be able to get. When you have that type of opportunity to add resources that help you with your mission and goal (of protecting your residents) without the restriction of money … it’s huge.

At the head of agencies, you’re always worrying about where your money is coming from and if you can save money; so it’s an opportunity to save locally,” the chief added. “Let’s put it this way, any department that isn’t using it is missing out.”

Bordi said at the moment the department does not have an immediate need for LESO items, but it continues to monitor the program should that need arise.

“Any piece of equipment that we would try to spend money on in our budget, we would go there first and see if it’s available,” he explained of LESO. “There’s nothing on the radar for us at the moment, but if there’s an opportunity to get, say for example, really good binoculars or a high-tech camera for our evidence unit, and I can get it there without using local tax dollars … we’re absolutely going to see if it’s available through this first.”

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