Public Safety State of the Borough

Public Safety State of the Borough Address 2016 Commissioner Neal Rochford, Janary 16, 2016

neal-250Good morning everyone,
It is a pleasure to be here at the Mayors breakfast. I would like to thank the Lion club for another great breakfast and to Bill Getman for his hospitality. 

Police- In 2015:

  • Hired a new Female full time officer to the department.
  • Installed one of our police vehicles with dash board camera.
  • The establishment by Officer Mueller and Officer Catts of a Police and Community Appreciation Day which was held on October 31 behind borough Hall.
  • The police labor contract was settled in 2015. I am happy to say that the salary increases were well under 2% per year. There was also changes to health care benefits that will have a long term impact on keeping those cost down.

Police Chief Ted Stuessy asked me to share these stats with you:

  • Arrests:214
  • 1,307 Moving violations
  • 323 Accidents-32 with injuries
  • 19 DWI
  • Our detectives solved an arm robbery case at Rite Aid, as well as a strong arm robbery at 7-11. They also apprehended the person breaking in to homes on Hawthorne last November.

Fire Department
In 2015 many changes have occurred at the Fire Company. Long time Fire Chief Joe Riggs retired at the end of 2015. Joe was Fire Chief for 19 years. Joe has left the fire company in great shape. The Fire Company is so well managed that volunteers come in from other towns to be a part a great organization. I would like to publicly thank Joe for a job well done.
The new fire chief is Sam Trotman. Sam is a son of the borough and has served as the assistant fire chief under Joe Riggs. I look forward to working with Sam to continue the level of excellence that we have come to expect.

The Fire Company also saw Butch Brees step down as fire Company President and Charlene Kelly will move up from Secretary to President. 

I think we can all agree:
After 252 years it was about time a woman stepped into the position.

Chief Trotman asked me to share some statistic from 2015:

  • Total Fire Emergency Calls: 505
  • Total Active Volunteer Firefighters 46
  • Total Ambulance Calls: 984
  • Training drills by 46 members 1068

Zoning Planning and HPC
My portfolio also includes the Planning, Zoning and HPC.

  • The commissioners enacted a revised Historic District Ordinance in 2015. 
  •  We enacted a sub stainable element to the Master Plan in which many elements will be implemented in 2016.
  • A another major intuitive in 2015 was to establish a subcommittee of Planning, Zoning boards and HPC to look at and review our zoning ordinances as well as our procedures to see where improvements can be made to ensure appropriate development within the borough.

Those recommendations have been made to the commissioners and we will be following on many of the recommendations in 2016.

Auxiliary Police
I’d like to acknowledge the Haddonfield auxiliary police.  The auxiliary police was formed during WW2 and have given over 1300 hours of volunteer service in this pass year alone. 
They do a great job keeping the many Haddonfield events safe for our residents and guest alike as well as support our police department.

In closing I would like to praise our team that worked on the Bancroft purchase. I like to thank our professional who helped guide us through the negotiations. 
Jeff, John and I never wavered in the belief that we could get this agreement done, and on terms that we felt were reasonable. Intro MARIO IVICOLIE
Tish Colombi noted in a previous Citizen of the Year address the 12 major decisions that have made Haddonfield great. I would like to add two more decisions to that list:

  • The sale of the Water utility to a private company… a private utility who can keep up with the maintenance needs of an aging system.
  • And the just announced purchase of Bancroft Property by the borough.

Tish noted in the very same speech:
“We are the beneficiaries of good decisions that were made before us. 
And we are the trustees of a Haddonfield we have inherited, 
Responsible for making good decisions that will benefit those who will follow”.