A South Jersey community is in shock after the arrest of a local police officer on charges that he bought controlled dangerous substances from a confidential police informant.

Thirty one year old Gloucester Township officer Tom Eden Junior, a 7 year veteran of the force, was taken into custody outside a local motel after he purchased five Percocet 30 mg. pills, and two Oxycotin 80 mg. placebo pills.

Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle says "I am angered that Mr. Eden allegedly abused his position of trust by violating the very laws he swore to uphold and defend as a Gloucester Township police officer - these actions are clearly not consistent with the ethical and moral standards of the Gloucester Township police department, and will never be tolerated."

He says "these reprehensible acts allegedly committed by this one person are in no way indicative of the 178 sworn and civilian employees of the Gloucester Township Police Department ."

While the Chief did not indicate there is any evidence that Eden was buying the painkillers because he had become addicted to them, he did add "the abuse of prescription pills is quickly becoming a national problem - we know that every year more people initiate abuse of prescription drugs than any other drug…more than 2-point-1 million people begin abusing prescription drugs each year…as a police department and a community, we have undertaken a number of initiatives to combat substance abuse, and we are working tirelessly in expanding our prevention and enforcement programs, and developing new ones, to address the growing national problem of prescription pill abuse."

Earle also said "I urge parents and guardians to let this incident serve as a reminder - or even an education - to many - of the dangers of substance abuse - and that such temptations can strike anyone. Parents - please take time to educate your children about the dangers of prescription abuse."

David Mayer, the Mayor of Gloucester Township, said Eden "not only violated the law, but violated the trust of our community - what this incident shows is that this behavior will not be tolerated in Gloucester Township…what this incident shows is that prescription drug addiction is a silent epidemic that affects every community."