The Toms River Police Underwater Response Team was started in 1993 and consisted of six members who utilized their personally owned equipment. Since that time the unit has expanded to ten members that are outfitted in state of the art diving equipment including dry suits, full face AGAs and underwater communications. The URT’s primary function is the collection of evidence, preservation and documentation of crime scenes in and around bodies of water, body recovery, and providing assistance in underwater rescues.
All members are also trained and certified as ice rescue technicians. Additionally, a majority of the team members have been trained in swift water rescue. During Super Storm Sandy the Underwater Response Team led local operations conducting water rescues and evacuations from low lying areas. That storm expanded the duties and responsibilities of the unit. Since that time, officers have undergone swift water rescue training, ocean lifeguard training and are expanding their equipment to properly assist the residents of Toms River with the addition of swift water rescue suits, reach poles and flotation devices.
The Underwater Response Team currently utilizes a former 4×4 ambulance, adapted to transport personnel and victims, as well as a recently acquired former military H1 Hummer. Additionally the Underwater Response Team maintains and operates a 22’ Boston Whaler with twin outboard Yamaha 115 engines and side scan sonar, referred to as “Marine 1”. Members of the unit have attended the Certified Marine Operator Course taught by the New Jersey State Police.
Corporal Christopher Leighton firstname.lastname@example.org is the URT commander.