Statement from Chief David Harkins:
Regarding Prank Facebook Post Reporting “First GTPD Officer to pass away do to covid19”
On April 4, 2020, at 7:15 PM, I became aware that an article was in a Facebook Group called “Gloucester Township Talk” titled “First GTPD officer to pass away do to covid19” in a Facebook Group called “Gloucester Twp Talk”. The post shows a photograph of Gloucester Township Police Officer Ptl. Walsh.
This posting is completely FALSE. No Gloucester Township Police has passed away from COVID-19. Ptl. Walsh is doing just fine. This appears to be a sick prank against the Gloucester Township community and the Gloucester Township Police Department. The post was reported to the administrator and appears to be removed.
It is despicable that someone would put a false story out about the death of police officer from COVID-19. This deadly virus has claimed the lives fellow police officers in Newark, New York City, Chicago, Detroit, along with 846 people in New Jersey, including 10 so far in Camden County. The threat to our Gloucester Township Police Officers is real.
I want to take a moment to thank our community members who have showed your support and let us know how much you care. We know this is a cowardly post, and it is not indicative of the community of Gloucester Township.
Our Officers and their families don’t deserve to be the object of this type of nonsense. I will do all in my power to ensure that they and their families are not the subject of a sick prank. They and their families are under enough stress as they go out every day and put themselves in harm’s way to serve our community of Gloucester Township. They don’t need this stress during this time of crisis. I am proud to serve with each and every one of them.
Gloucester Township Police Department
1261 Chews Landing Rd
Gloucester Township, NJ 08021