Two Township Cars Involved in Post-Sandy Accidents

Township committee voted to approve the purchase of a new police vehicle.


Two township vehicles were involved in accidents the day after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, according to township administrator Frank Locantore.

One accident involved Public Safety Director Michael P. King and the other a public works employee.

At Monday’s township committee meeting, members voted to authorize the purchase of a new Dodge Charger for the police department to replace the one totaled in an accident.

Around 6:45 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, King was driving his township-issued car back to his post at Cinnaminson’s emergency command center, Locantore said. It was the day after Hurricane Sandy hit.

“Another car entered Route 130 improperly and collided with our vehicle,” Locantore said.

The accident happened in Florence Township, Burlington County. The public safety director suffered injuries in the crash. King—who does not use his car for take-home use—was given permission by Locantore to take the car home during the course of Hurricane Sandy preparations and cleanup.

“He was spending so many hours traveling back and forth dealing with storm response,” Locantore said.

The insurance company of the other driver paid for the damage to the vehicle, he added.

“We are going to replace the vehicle out of the police department’s budget,” Locantore said.

Later that day, a driver who went through a traffic signal collided with a public works’ vehicle, Locantore said.

That incident occurred in Cinnaminson, around 1:54 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 28. The driver was fine and the car suffered minimal damage, Locantore said.

Mark December 19, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Thank God everyone was okay. A car is just that, a car. It can be replaced and it appears that it is costing the township no money.
FbS December 19, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Yup... Thank goodness Micheal was okay..
I Give Up December 19, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Please don't piss on me and tell me it's raining. There have been many comments on here about King's car not being at the PD overnight for months now. Guess us dumb folks just have to believe what we are told. Good thing it happened the day after Sandy, or there would be no lame excuse. And, if the car is covered by insurance, why do we have to buy a new one out of the Police budget???? The article also doesn't include that King was out of work for several days recovering from his "minor injuries". That's funny (well, not really, I'm glad he is okay), but I wouldn't consider a broken scapula and a broken rib "minor". Why did we not hear about this accident the day after it happened?? OUR Public Safety Director gets in an accident, goes to the hospital, is out of work, and we are hearing about it now because of the purchase of a new car!!!!! Sounds like someone was trying to hide something. This is really getting pathetic….. again!!!
John December 19, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Oh boy, your right, it is sad to find out how we manage our taxes....Its also sad that we are going to spend money for re assessing our houses which by the way are over the market price now....I wish things were different....Maybe in the new year, I hope....
H Kane December 19, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Mark by you saying "it appears" is like saying assuming...the car will be covered by insurance..AND you know what happens when you ASSUME!! Good grief!
Don't Be Hatin December 19, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Wow, you sure do have insider knowledge don’t you??? You even know the extent of his injuries! Wonder how you know so much, or at least think you do??? Hurricane Sandy was over two months ago and that’s when they say this accident happened! Might be why for the past two months you haven’t seen his car in the police lot when you were slithering around at night looking for it. So sad your life has become always looking for a smoking gun! Always trying to prove the other guy is Pinocchio, not you! Isn’t it time to let it go and start enjoying life?
Christina Paciolla (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I took out the word "minor" because I do not know the extent of Director King's injuries.
Ric December 19, 2012 at 08:36 PM
All township cars should be marked with a decal, just like on state cars, as township property and official use only. In this time of tight municipal budgets, will this replacement car be fully loaded or striped down like a state car. I would hope our township leaders be prudent with their spending when considering how our police force was pared down. I am glad they did not elaborate too deeply on the accident. It reminds me too much of a story I once heard that the car would only cost $2500 a year. By the way attacks from township employees and committeemen will be ignored.
You gave up a long time ago December 19, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Yea, insider information?? I found out about this the same way everyone else did. By reading Patch. I just happened to do a little investigation before I print, unlike some other people. You people who rely solely on Patch reporting are missing 80% of the story. Not to hard to get the facts, you just have to want to know, and the loyal Committee followers do NOT want to know. So you see nothing strange that our PSD was in a pretty serious accident and totaled a township car, and NO story? Keep your blinders on little mice, the Pied Piper will lead you to the river.
You gave up a long time ago December 19, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Then you might want to ignore "You'll never give up"'s comment.
Maury December 19, 2012 at 09:01 PM
You gave up a long time ago: Would you be so kind to tell us how you got that information if you say it's that easy?
You gave up a long time ago December 19, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I made a phone call Maury, the same thing Christina should have done. This committee is the only ones keeping secrets, go to anyone else for the truth. Anyone else!!
Maury December 19, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Right okay, you made a phone call. I'm sure you did. But can you tell us who you called? I mean, you're saying it seems like anybody can just call. Did you call one of our council people? Did you call and talk to Mr. King? I mean, if you just called, just tell us who you called. Full disclosure. Reputable sources. Thanks.
Christina Paciolla (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Actually, I'm interested in your source too. See, as a professional reporter, I attribute my information to a source. In this case, I interviewed Frank Locantore and heard from township committee members in the regular Monday meeting. Who is your source?
Ric December 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Although I do not know for sure, based upon my accounting experience, I suspect that township’s accounting procedures require that the insurance money to be deposited to the township general account. To release that money for purchasing a replacement vehicle the township had to approve the expenditure. What I find curious is back in August Patch reported: “Some committee members say they were led to believe that the take-home car they authorized to Michael P. King was a spare car in the department’s fleet, not a brand new leased vehicle. Rather than an extra Dodge Durango, King has been driving a new Dodge Charger included in the purchase of a new fleet of police cars that township committee signed off on earlier this year…. “It was never stated to us that one of these new vehicles would be the police civilian vehicle,” Mayor Don Brauckmann said Thursday. “We assumed they were going to the police officers, not the police civilian director.”” http://cinnaminson.patch.com/articles/committee-members-we-were-misled-about-vehicle-for-public-safety-director
noyb December 19, 2012 at 11:20 PM
chistina can you clarify are they replacing the car because of its age or are they replacing it cause it was in an accident? Sounds like King was not a fault and the other drives insurance covered the repairs.... so why now does it need to be replaced if its back in service?
Bruce December 20, 2012 at 01:11 AM
King's car was TOTALED!...There's no question it is covered by insurance...both the other drivers', and the township's. So they have to get another car. So what? It happens all the time for many people who's cars get totaled. Sure, the township has a way of not telling every detail, and I too was shocked to hear the vehicle was totaled, but being in the new car business, I can tell you accidents happen every day and cars get totaled every day...then they get replaced. No mystery there! I guess you complainers would love for King to take the light rail to the Riverton station, and walk to Cinnaminson Twp. so he can get his work vehicle.LOL
Freelancer December 20, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Oh please Christina, Maury said "reputable sources".
Ric December 20, 2012 at 03:10 AM
@Bruce. His hiring was based on him driving his own car to and from home and that is how he should travel. If he cannot get back and forth from home then Cinnaminson should replace him. I mean, our mayor bragged how hiring King was going to save us money. Not so, if we provide him with a car, gas, insurance, and maintenance. He already collects a fat salary and a fat pension. Enough is enough. Are we to provide a car to every township employee who wants one? What about Susie the lunchroom lady? Can the township give her a car also?
noyb December 20, 2012 at 03:20 AM
I dont think that is what people are saying. I think the general popular opinion is that he shoud drive his own car to and from Cinnaminson, and while on duty here he can use it as he needs to. But why does he need to drive it home? If the car was sitting in Cinnaminson at the office we would still have the car today. I personally wasnt aware it was totaled the article hinted at that but was a tad misunderstood when it said the damage was paid for by the other insurance. Unfortunately this is not a private company who can give out vehicles as they feel the need to, its all being done with money from the township tax payers and letting King drive the car to and from his home is not needed. Leave the car at the police station and you have to drive 1 mile into cinnaminson to get it. IMO its better that driving the car 40 miles home on the tax payers dime. King isnt putting the gas in it, or paying the ins premium, or paying for the breaks and tires its using up... just having it on the road more obviously put the tax payers investment at a greater risk for loss. In the end if the car was in Cinnaminson we would still have it. BTW, glad he was ok accidents do happen.
Mike December 20, 2012 at 03:34 AM
You're the coolest Bruce !
Richard Magee December 20, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Why pay for the replacement car out ofd the Police Budget, when the Township was reimbursed by the other car's Insurance? That should be a wash and a Quid pro Quo. Use the Money from the Insurance to buy another car. UNLESS the amount was less than replacement value. Than only debit the Police budget for the Difference. ~Rick Magee, FL
Bowtie December 20, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Susy does make a mean tator tot lol
FbS December 20, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Yes, Rick. When a used car is totaled you don't get full replacement cost. You get blue book value which is lower then a new replacement. The cost difference is what has to come out of the budget.
Bobby December 20, 2012 at 05:42 PM
This is what you should expect from a one party government. There is no system of checks and balances and there is a lot of information control. We need representatives from more than one party just to keep the elected officials somewhat honest.
John December 21, 2012 at 06:30 PM
This is really amazing, a police charger goes for over 35000 list, I know b/c I had a charger r/t with the hemi in it and it cost me 32000, so its not a cheap car....That being said saying the politics is at fault is not right either.....It appears that whatever they want to do they will do, like why is the police dept funding the car when it was not his fault do not know but OUR TAX dollars are not the answer....We now have the school board telling us we need schools, another cost heading our way, We have an assessor who is going to reassess our house at market value when they have been overpriced for how long, no one can tell U the last assessment date nor will they said what it is b/c that would tell people that they have been overpaying there taxes for that amount of time....Lets buy up more vacant properties, oh boy when does it end.....happy holidays everyone...
John December 21, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Well lets see now, as soon as U drive off the lot the car loses about 40% of the value U paid for the car....another example of the new math....


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