David Dailey is of the “if isn’t broken, don’t fix it” mentality.
The new chief of police for Monroe Township said both the community and department are in strong shape, so he has no plans to radically change the way things are done. But Dailey concedes there’s always room for improvement.
“If we can tweak it to make it better, I definitely want to do that not only for our community, but to serve our department,” he said.
Dailey was promoted from deputy to chief of police on Aug. 24. The new role is the latest in a series of service and leadership positions he’s achieved throughout his career.
“It’s a little bit different for me because I didn’t grow up in New Jersey, I’m originally from Kansas,” Dailey noted. “When I was 20 years old, I joined the Marine Corps … In my military time, I enjoyed rank and structure and helping others, so I felt like I wanted to do that in law enforcement.”
After serving his country, Dailey moved to New Jersey and started working for a landscaping company by day while taking law and justice classes at Gloucester County College. In April of 1994, he was hired for the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department. While there, Dailey attended Gloucester County Police Academy, and due to his hard work and dedication, he earned the title of class president and got himself an interview with the Monroe Township Police Department.
“I was doing patrol duty. I was handling calls for service bank robbery, shoplifting, domestic dispute, alarm, investigating accidents,” Dailey recalled. “I still enjoyed the weapons and tactics side of law enforcement, so in 1998, I got on the (Gloucester) County SWAT team.”
Dailey spent 10 years with that team before receiving a promotion to sergeant. In that position, he had more responsibility, such as taking charge of seven to eight officers and organizing work schedules for them.
“I stepped down from the SWAT team,” Dailey said. “In the meantime, I was still a firearms instructor and field training officer in the department.”
After the promotion to sergeant, Dailey quickly moved through the ranks at the Monroe police department. He spent time as a lieutenant in charge of all department training in 2014. In 2017, he was promoted to captain and was in charge of the largest unit in the department, the patrol division. These positions all gave Dailey the skills and knowledge to help promote him to deputy chief under James V. DeHart III in 2019, and now chief in 2020.
“A lot of things were set in place before with the promotion to chief,” Dailey explained. “But it allowed me to promote a new deputy chief, another captain, two lietenants and three sergeants. It was good, positive energy going down the ranks of new officers getting a promotion and new responsibilities.”
Although Dailey has expressed interest in keeping many of the department’s current programs, he also has some new ideas.
“I want to do a Pedal with the Police program,” he said. “We can use the bike path and get young kids out to exercise and ride bikes and encourage safety, like wearing a helmet. We also do coffee and cones with a cop to try and keep the community policing going.
“We want to keep positive contacts with our community.”
The new chief also wants to offer business and religious institutions the option to partake in training for an active threat situation.
“I haven’t had time to implement anything new yet,” Dailey acknowledged. “I’m still getting my feet under me so to speak. I know we have a great department and community.”