CHATHAM, NJ - Newly elected Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter called for the purchase of M4 rifles to better arm the the police in case of incidents such as the San Bernardino shootings before swearing in new police officer, Nicholas Giordano, at the township committee's reorganization meeting held Thursday night.
"Tonight we will swear in Nicholas Giordano as the newest member of the police department and our focus this year will be on further supporting the police so that they have the proper equipment and training needed to handle any situation," Ritter said in his remarks (see video below). "I will encourage my fellow committee members to support the acquisition of M4 rifles for the department, and allocate funds for training and any related equipment that will be necessary to effectively utilize this new equipment.
"Recently the Morris Country Freeholders indicated that they will allocate $500,000 of federal Homeland Security grant funds to train first responders in how to treat people involved in violent incidents like the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino. We will seek the support of the Freeholders as we look to better prepare our first responders and implement our various public safety initiatives in 2016."
Chatham Township Police Chief Steven Hennelly said that he would likely ask for the purchse of five M4 rifles for his department.
"The M4 would certainly increase our weaponry, should it be needed (in a terrorist situation)," Hennelly said.
Ritter explained that the M4 rifles would better arm the township police, not only for protection, but to deal with any armed attacker.
"These past few years we have been fortunate that we have not encountered any natural and manmade disasters," Ritter said. "Despite this good fortune, in 2016 we will look to revitalize our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in an effort to identify community volunteers who can assist the Police and the Office of Emergency Management in their efforts should the need ever arise."
The 23-year-old Giordano took an alternate route class, graduating from the Bergen County Police Academy this year. A resident of Maywood, he is also a member of his home town volunteer fire department and also worked in telecommunications for the Maywood Police Department
Giordano has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of New Haven in Connecticut, where he was a member of the dean's list. He also belonged to New Haven's Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society.
Giorando received a citation from the fire department for aiding victims during Hurricane Sandy.
The hiring of Giordano puts the Chatham Township police force personnel at 20 since Matthew Smedberg, sworn in last January, left to join the Roxbury Police Department.
Mayor Curt Ritter advocates for the purchase of M4 rifles as part of his opening remarks as the new elected mayor