BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP— The police department has added six sport utility vehicles to its fleet as a way to address the rural terrain and extreme weather in the area, officials said.

Township Administrator Dave Breeden said the six police-equipped vehicles cost about $50,000 apiece. The cost for the sport utility vehicles are comparable to the price of a police car, Breeden said.

“I would rather have 10 questions on how much the vehicles cost than 1,000 questions on why we were not about to respond in a time of need,” he said.

An increase in calls for service and recent extreme weather events have added to the need for additional sport utility vehicles, he said.

Police cars are not able to access certain areas of the township during flooded conditions, including the Pebble Beach section, said Police Chief Art Drexler.

The police department has 30 vehicles including six other SUVS. The last time police vehicles were purchased by the township was in 2009 and those vehicles have about 100,000 miles on them as they average about 30,000 per year, said Drexler.

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