Picatinny Arsenal police officers (from left to right) Thomas Vecchi, Jonathan White, and Cary Dul used night-vision-goggles to assist in the search of a missing hiker in a local community surrounding the installation.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- On a frigid Sunday evening a resident of Summit Township was in need of rescue after getting lost on a solo hike in the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham Township.

Andrew Moore, 41, used his cell phone to call 911 for help around 6:30 p.m. to notify them of his condition, according to a Daily Record article.

The Chatham Township police used the global positioning system from his cell phone to narrow his location, the article said.

The Picatinny Arsenal police department was monitoring the Morris County Emergency Radio System when they learned of the missing hiker and immediately called the Chatham Township police department to offer their services.

The radio system was created as a direct result of 9-11, said Bruce H. Gough, Picatinny Arsenal Police Chief.

Gough said that at approximately 7:30 p.m. he dispatched two officers to join the search party, which consisted of about 100 people from 15 other supporting agencies.

Officers Thomas Vecchi and Jonathan White arrived on scene at 8 p.m. Gough said the officers were equipped with PBS 7 night-vision-goggles to assist them in their search efforts.

"The Picatinny Police Department was the only agency to respond that night with night-vision capabilities," Gough said.

He added that "This not only enhanced the searching capabilities of the agencies involved, but it also allowed the operation to be conducted with a higher level of safety."

The two officers remained on scene until about 1 a.m. Oct. 20, he said. Then the officers were replaced by officers Cary Dul and Dennis Simon.

The newspaper article said that at approximately 2:30 a.m. Moore was found and that while he was cold and wet, he had no other injuries.

The officers returned back to Picatinny at around 3 a.m.

Gough said this was the first time Picatinny Arsenal Police Department worked directly with the Chatham Township Police Department although he said Picatinny does maintain a close working relationship with local law enforcement.

Page last updated Mon October 27th, 2008 at 15:10