SANATOGA PA – Seven sets of so-called “breaching tools” have been donated to the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department by The Home Depot on Armand Hammer Boulevard, Pottstown PA, to ensure officers in every one of the department’s patrol cars can forcibly enter barricaded, locked or fortified doors and buildings should an emergency arise, Chief Michael Foltz said Friday (Dec. 28, 2012).
The home supply and lumber retailer’s contribution of seven 10-pound Rockforge-brand fiberglass-handled sledgehammers, and seven HK-Porter-brand general purpose bolt cutters, supplement the lone set of breaching tools that was in the department’s equipment cache. Foltz valued what he called the store’s “generous donation” at more than $600.
In light of the recent school shootings in Newtown CT and other national tragedies, the chief said he considered how his department could be better equipped to handle similar situations. He brought those concerns to Home Depot Manager Lorena Wiley; no problem, she responded, and offered the tools without charge as a community service.
The department, as it has in the past, may still call on the services of a tactical team or Lower Pottsgrove’s two fire companies for breaching needs, Foltz acknowledged. When time is a critical factor in public safety, however, his officers will no longer need to wait. “The addition of this breaching equipment will allow officers to be more efficient … and also help mitigate tragedies when time is of the essence,” he added.
Foltz thanked Wiley and The Home Depot for their thoughtfulness. “During times of a difficult economy and budget constraints, (such) community partnerships … help ease the burden on taxpayers while improving public safety services,” he said.
The Home Depot gift marks the second time in recent weeks that an outside vendor has helped meet the Lower Pottsgrove department’s emergency needs. During November (2012), U.S. Route 422 repair contractor J.D. Eckman Inc. donated $600 worth of traffic cones, also for use in patrol cars, in appreciation for the department’s efforts to manage traffic in construction zones on the busy four-lane highway.