Police chief to retire in Hopewell Township

Hopewell Township Police Department Chief Lance Maloney will be retiring from his position at the upcoming Hopewell Township Committee meeting on Monday, July 20, 2020.

Item XI A of the agenda, released this afternoon, indicates that the Township Committee will be accepting his retirement.

Maloney’s retirement comes after the recent suspension of several Hopewell Township police officers and employees (click here for story) in a racially-related issue, as well as recent heightened public support for Michael Sherman, a police officer who brought legal action against the Township Police Department several years ago. Sherman, who is Black, alleges being the subject of ongoing racist jokes and comments while in the employment of the Township Police Department.

In a text, Maloney stated: “It has been an honor serving the residents of Hopewell Township and Hopewell Borough for the past 26 years. The members of the Hopewell Township Police Department are dedicated professionals and I wish them well as the department moves forward.”

“Lance Maloney dedicated his career to serving the residents of Hopewell Valley,” said Mayor Kristin McLaughlin when reached for comment. “This community benefited from his calm manner, his professionalism, and his knowledge. I, talking with residents, have heard many stories of his warmth and consideration. I wish him well as he begins his next chapter.”

Committee member Julie Blake shared with MercerMe, “Over the last 26 1/2 years, Lance Maloney has invested his time, knowledge, and professionalism to our community. He has consistently given his best to support the residents of Hopewell Township.”

The agenda also includes introduction of an ordinance “establishing the position of Police Director and amending section 2-2.10 of the Revised General Ordinances of Hopewell Township,” which is the ordinance that establishes the police department. According to New Jersey law, a police director is usually a civilian position that oversees the operations of the department but who is legally prohibited from acting as a police officer -from wearing a uniform to arresting people. Pennington Borough employed a civilian director (William Meytrott) for many years until Doug Pinelli took over as Police Chief in May.

The next Hopewell Township Committee meeting will be Monday, July 20, 2020 at 5pm by zoom.

Edited 1 minute after publishing to note that Maloney is retiring, not resigning.

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