Union claims New Jersey police department is unsafe for officers due to mold, sewage problems

The union representing a South Jersey police department is demanding action from township officials after a report discovered a mold and sewage problem impacting their department building.

Ray Theriault of the Mainland Police Benevolent Association 77 showed FOX 29 what he calls unsafe work conditions inside the Mullica Township Police Department.

"What happens when it rains real hard, the septic overflows and comes through the block wall of the basement office, and right into the police department," Theriault said. 

Video claims to show water running down the walls, and Theriault says it smells of sewage making it unsafe for the public to enter the building. He says some officers have gotten violently ill from it.

"We've had officers actually need to be hospitalized because of sinus problems," Theriault said.

FOX 29 obtained a report by an environmental company hired by the township to look into the situation that outlines the serious health risks posed by the condition of the police department.

"The extent of the current/existing conditions in the lower-level waiting area and police department do not represent a healthy working environment to those who occupy the police department as they are being exposed to sewage related bacteria, mold growth, and airborne fungal spores," the report read.

According to a June resolution, the township committee acknowledged the need to address the 52-year-old building, and provide a "safe and efficient workplace." 

"It's bad, it's really bad," Theriault said. "Quite honestly they need to move these officers out of here, like yesterday, until it's a safe environment, until the problems are addressed."

FOX 29's Dawn Timmeney reached out to the Mullica Township Administrator and the Mayor regarding the situation, but did not receive a reply.