Voorhees Police Department bids adieu to Chief Hummel

Voorhees Police Department bids adieu to Chief Hummel

Since his high school years, Keith Hummel dreamed of having a rewarding career in law enforcement.

That dream came true for Hummel, a 1975 Cherry Hill West graduate, husband, and father of two.

And on June 30, he closed the book on his 30-plus year career with the Voorhees Township Police Department, where he’s served as chief for the past 14 years.

Hummel began his police career in 1978, serving as a part-time officer in Gibbsboro. He was sworn in as a Voorhees police officer two years later and has never looked back.

He was promoted to sergeant in 1984, and by 1990, he was bumped up to lieutenant. During this time, Hummel also graduated from the NJSCOP West Point Command Leadership Program. He was promoted to captain in 1996 and replaced Chief Earl Odd in 1998.

Looking back on his years of service, Hummel said he is happy with the path his life took him on and thankful to those who helped him along the way.

“Chief White emphasized training. Chief Dwier was good in managing people and Chief Odd improved our community policing. They trained me for what was ahead,” Hummel said. “My training officer, Lieutenant Stark, my first training officer, helped me as a police officer.”

During his time as chief, Hummel said the department moved forward in numerous ways, including a more visible community policing force.

“There were a couple areas where we really tried to improve our service to the community. One of the things was we were effective with all the resources we were given,” Hummel said. “I see ourselves as stewards of taxpayer money.”

Hummel noted an increase in community policing projects, more Adopt-a-Cop programs at the schools and a crime prevention unit that speaks to businesses and residents.

“It works really well,” Hummel said. “We reach out to many businesses. We have a great relationship with Virtua and PREIT.”

During his time with the Voorhees Township Police Department, Hummel also became an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University, as well as Gloucester County College.

Hummel received his master’s degree in Administrative Science in 2005 from Farleigh Dickinson. He now teaches a general leadership class to students seeking their master’s degrees. He teaches a course on police administration and investigation at the community college.

He said juggling teaching and a demanding career wasn’t all that bad.

His own leadership is the mark of what made Hummel a successful leader, said Lou Bordi, who took over as police chief on July 1.

“Chief transitioned our department. He really had his eye on technology like we’ve never seen and had a keen eye on having to do more with less,” said Bordi, a 24-year veteran of the police force. “He is one of the most ethical and strongest leaders I’ve ever met.”

During his tenure, one of Hummel’s proudest accomplishments, he said, was the 2005 implementation of mobile data computers in every police vehicle.

This gave police officers immediate access to DMV records, stolen vehicle records, missing persons reports and a connection to the police department’s internal system.

Bordi said he hopes to keep up Hummel’s good work and advance the department with some of his own ideas.

“I won’t fill his shoes. I can’t. But I’ll look for more trails myself,” Bordi said. “I want to continue in the tradition of being known as a very professional department and continue to look for more innovative ways to work with a smaller staff.”

Hummel said he knows the police department is in good hands with Bordi at the helm.

“He’s well prepared. He’ll carry on the tradition of past chiefs and service to the community,” Hummel said.