"The men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department prepare to celebrate a very special time of the year for law enforcement. National Police Week is celebrated May 9-15 this year, with a special somber remembrance on National Peace Officer Memorial Day on May 15.
As I reflect back on this time last year, we were in middle of an unprecedented pandemic, and law enforcement in general were part of the “good guys,” who were out working in public safety along with healthcare professionals and other first responders. No one could have predicted how fast the pendulum would swing against law enforcement, with the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests and riots that began at the end of May and continued into summer. This has certainly been the most challenging time for law enforcement in my 26 years of experience.
To be clear to everyone, good, honest, dedicated cops are angered and disgusted by the actions of a very few “bad cops.” The actions of a few have a significant impact on the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day. When we make mistakes, we own them, and we fix them. In my experience, most of the effective police reforms and meaningful changes in the culture of policing comes from “good cops” who propose how to make our profession better for the community that we serve. The men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department love our community that we serve, and we see it every day.
While certain national news organizations do not portray it, the thanks and support provided to us by our local community, businesses, and organizations has been humbling. We are tremendously grateful for the support we have received.
It is our duty to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in law enforcement. We must never forget what Peace Officers Memorial Day is all about. We honor those who have fallen, by our promise to “Never Forget,” and by putting on our badge and gear to serve as they would serve.
On behalf of all the men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department, I thank you for your unwavering support. Please know that the Gloucester Township Police Department is here to serve our community, and that the men and women I serve with have courage and integrity. I am proud to be a police officer, and I am proud to serve side by side with the Officers, Dispatchers, and Professional Staff of the Gloucester Township Police Department.
They are Servant Leaders who will answer the call every day to serve our beloved community of Gloucester Township, New Jersey.
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
For more information about the National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day, go to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund at: https://nleomf.org/
To learn more about the fallen heroes that we honor this week, visit The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) at: https://www.odmp.org/
David J. Harkins
Chief of Police
Gloucester Township Police Department"