I want to let the community of Gloucester Township know how the men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department have handled these difficult few months. We are always looking at ways to improve our ways of serving our community, and to implement the best practices of policing. With all of the negativity geared toward the policing profession, it has been disheartening for me to see the profession that I love to be portrayed so badly by news reports. This has made us double our efforts to do things even better. This is what I demand as the Chief of Police, and this is what the men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department deliver.
The reality for us is that we have been inspired by the community to work harder, and to refine our ways of providing the best police and emergency services to the people of Gloucester Township and those we encounter. I have been meeting with the officers regularly, and all report back to me that they have received much more support than negativity. This has been reinforced by the number of emails, cards, letters, and kind words of support by community members. I share these encouraging words with the staff, as I believe that it motivates them, and reminds us all why we were called to the noble profession of law enforcement.
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to find new ways of connecting with our community. I am proud of the ingenuity and determination of our officers who continue to be the model of community policing. These methods of connecting with the community are having a positive effect in the reduction of crime. One example is our “#9PMRoutine”, which is our weekly reminder to lock your car doors, secure your house, and hide your valuables. We are seeing tangible results with a reduction of thefts. Another example is our Community Outreach Team. These are officers who have been going into our neighborhoods and parks with the mission of making positive interactions with the community, and especially our youth. I have met with many community members, and have listened and gained valuable insights into the needs of the community, and ways of solving our neighborhood problems. Good policing takes partnerships with the community. We continue to find new ways of making connections, and building those partnerships.
I want to thank the community of Gloucester Township for your support of our officers, and for doing your part to make us better. It is our collaborative goal to make Gloucester Township the best that it can be. We are committed to serve all the members of our community, and know that we will do our part.
David J. Harkins
Chief of Police