Black History Month, Moorestown PD recognized for efforts to make Moorestown safer, more inclusive

The Moorestown Township Police Department and the Southern Burlington County NAACP were both recognized on Monday night.

Moorestown Township Council had a packed meeting last Monday night with members of the Moorestown Township Police Department and the Southern Burlington County NAACP in attendance to accept proclamations and awards.

The evening kicked off with council declaring February as Black History Month in Moorestown. Mayor Lisa Petriello invited the NAACP members in attendance up as she read from the proclamation.

Petriello said Black History Month celebrates the achievements and contributions African Americans have made. She said this is a time for all Americans to remember the stories and teachings of those who helped further the nation by taking a stance against prejudice.

“The observance of Black History Month calls our attention to the continued need to battle racism and build a society that lives up to its democratic ideals,” Petriello said.

She said the township is proud to honor Black History Month as it continues to work toward becoming an inclusive community where all citizens are respected and recognized.

Crystal Charley, president of the Southern Burlington County NAACP, said the relationship the NAACP has formed with the Moorestown community means a lot to the group. She said when they put out a call for a place to host political events, Moorestown answered.

“The work that we do is ever-present,” Charley said. “The need is still there, and we just invite everybody to join in with us and let’s be on the right side of history — a side that is unifying of all people.”

Council also honored the work of Moorestown’s finest and welcomed a new officer to the ranks. Police Chief Lee Lieber thanked council for taking the time to acknowledge the department’s hard work.

“I know I’m proud, and I’m sure residents are appreciative of the job all of our officers and our civilian employees of the police department do to make Moorestown safe for everyone,” Lieber said.

Patrolman Brian Poe was sworn in last Monday. Lieber said Poe began his career as as special officer class II in Wildwood before joining Collingswood’s force in October 2016. With the recent retirement of a Moorestown officer, Poe was hired as a full-time officer as of February.

John Hinshillwood was sworn in as Moorestown’s newest sergeant. Hinshillwood began his career as a special law enforcement officer class II for the Sea Isle City Police Department and was subsequently hired by the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department. He came to Moorestown as a patrolman in 1999 before moving to the bureau’s criminal investigations unit.

This past July, Hinshillwood was promoted to sergeant on a provisional basis while one of the sergeants was out on medical leave. Hinshillwood was officially appointed sergeant on Feb. 1.

Patrolmen Joel Mufalli, Dennis Chesney and Michael Angelus were also recognized. The trio was honored for their outstanding performance in the enforcement of traffic and criminal laws during 2018.

The next meeting of Moorestown Township Council will take place on Monday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Town Hall.