Spotlight on Sea Girt Police Department, 2018 PPE Giveaway Winners

Sea Girt Police with PPE kits in front of police vehicle.

Sea Girt is a tiny borough located in New Jersey. It has just 1,800 residents year-round, but it more than doubles in size over the summer months. The Sea Girt Police Department employs just 11 full-time officers, including the Chief. “Our town goes up to 4,500 residents in the summer,” explains Sea Girt PD Captain, Justin Macko. “25 part-time officers join our department during warmer months to assist with the summer vacation crowd. The officers come to us through the police academy, and one of the main things we focus on is safety since they’re not used to dealing with bio as often as our year-round staff.”

This spring, Sea Girt was one of 5 departments to receive a grand prize in Aftermath’s Annual PPE Giveaway. The award outfitted the department with much-needed PPE, including gloves, suit, and booties, to keep the officers safe from biohazards while on the job. Last month, Aftermath presented Sea Girt with their winnings and spoke to Captain Macko and Patrolman Zachary Sherman. Read on to learn more about Sea Girt and their stance on safety:

grant Provides Sea girt Officers With Peace of mind

Sea Girt officers are no strangers the benefits of PPE. One of the department’s officers won a PPE kit from Aftermath last year, which prompted them to enter again in 2018. This year’s winnings included enough kits to outfit the whole department.

For a small PD like Sea Girt, the benefit of winning a PPE grant not only means a department’s limited funds are able to stretch further and benefit more of the community; it also means peace of mind for the officers themselves. Says Captain Macko, “Our plan moving forward with our new kits (from the grant) is to put one in each of our 5 patrol vehicles. This way, officers will always have a kit on hand for when they respond to a call.”

 Patrolman Zachary Sherman explained in his entry form that having PPE on hand is “taking a proactive approach to the safety of our officers before any of them are exposed to hazards on patrol.”

Small Town, Big On Safety

Captain Macko explains: “Because Sea Girt is a vacation town, we deal with a lot of intoxicated residents during the summer. Over the summer months, officers are frequently exposed to blood, spit, and other bio. Beyond just changing uniforms, PPE provides another layer of protection if we know we’re going into a serious situation.”

“We also have incidents involving the trains that run through our town. We get a decent amount of train accidents involving deer, people, and vehicles. There are a shockingly high number of deer incidents. As you can imagine, these accidents result in a lot of biohazards. Right now we just use rubber gloves on scene so our uniforms will get bio on them. We have a decontamination bin for our soiled uniforms and we keep spare uniforms at the station. The contaminated uniforms are transported in a safe manner to a special dry cleaner that deals with this sort of thing.”

Serving the Citizens of Sea Girt

In addition to daily hazards, a higher population of elderly residents means that the Sea Girt PD have also had to cope with cases of unattended death. Captain Macko relates: “There have been instances with people have passed away in their homes without anyone being aware. As the police, we may get a wellness call from family members who ask us to follow up with their relative. This puts us in the position of being the first ones on the scene. In these cases, we’re walking into a situation where we know we need to wear PPE.”

Captain Macko states that the department’s insurance provider mandates safety courses every year for the officers and staff. Further, the command staff does an administrative review internally to determine best practices for dealing with biohazards. When an accident or other biohazardous incident occurs, the staff reviews the safety protocols taken and considers if there are better methods to handle similar cases going forward.

Aftermath Cares About Law Enforcement

Aftermath has been a long-time supporter of law enforcement like the officers of Sea Girt PD. We are proud to recognize their services to the community by sponsoring a variety of events nationwide, including golf outings, charity runs, and special banquets. We contribute to national and regional trade associations and offer access to complementary programs, resources, and special rates on jail cell and squad car cleanings. We also host contests like the PPE Giveaway and grants like our Annual K9 Grant. 

This summer we’re also awarding special service awards to local heroes who go above and beyond in their communities through our Why We Serve program, going on now through July 9th. To find out how to nominate yourself or another officer in your area for one of our service grants in this summer’s Why We Serve Campaign, visit our entry page.

To learn more about our special services for agencies, please visit our page for law enforcement.

Follow the officers of Sea Girt on their Facebook page.