Gloucester SWAT adds first female officer

Watchful Eye

Gloucester County’s police force has added its first female SWAT officer--Deputy Danielle Woodard-- Sheriff Darrell Warren announced on Facebook.

The Special Operations Unit, or SWAT, consists of members who are recruited, selected, highly trained, equipped and assigned to resolve critical incidents involving a threat to public safety. Their specialty is to provide skill that would otherwise exceed the capabilities of traditional law enforcement and investigative units, the sheriff office webpage explains.

Incidents that SWAT officers are trained to handle include high-risk warrant service, barricaded dangerous subjects, hostage rescue and search and rescue, the explanation adds.

To qualify for SWAT, Woodard had to go through a rigorous mental and physical process, the sheriff explained in the Facebook post. The progression included a strenuous physical fitness test, a firearms test requiring scores in the 90 percentile or higher and an interview board consisting of existing experienced tactical team members to determine aptitude, experience, and motivation, he added.

Also, Woodard was required to have the requisite law enforcement experience prior to applying. She passed all areas exceptionally well and is a welcome addition to the unit, Warren stated.

The Facebook post has racked up over 200 congratulatory comments. And of course, it wasn’t missed that this announcement came during a month for recognizing notable women.

“Congratulations!!!!! And recognizing her amazing accomplishments during Women's History Month! Keep breaking those glass ceilings,” wrote Facebook user Cassie Bercot.

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