Monroe police welcome new chief and deputy

Both men have extensive experience in law enforcement

New Chief of Police Craig Monahan poses with new deputy chief Gene Sulzbach at the Monroe Township Police Department. Both officers are scheduled to be sworn in at the next Monroe Township Council meeting.

The Monroe Township Police Department will soon welcome a new chief and deputy chief.

Craig Monahan, who was 22 when he started at the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department in 1995, will become chief. He was a corrections officer for 2 ½ years  before being hired in Monroe Township in 1997.

Monahan spent most of his career in patrol but started on the Monroe entry team in 1999. He then spent 23 years in tactical, moving his way up from operator to squad leader and team leader. Last year, he became commander of the team and moved up the ranks from corporal in patrol to sergeant and then lieutenant in patrol. He was promoted to captain last year and moved into internal affairs. 

“I was surprised that I was able to climb this high up in the department,” said Monahan, a lifelong resident of Monroe who graduated from Williamstown High School in 1990. “I definitely am thankful and I love the department; it is a family oriented department. It is a bond and a team.

“To be able to have the opportunity to lead the department is a thrill to me,” he added. “I look forward to accomplishing this next task.” 

Lt. Gene Sulzbach, who joined the Monroe department in 1998, will become deputy chief of police. He holds two associate of science degrees from Camden County and Gloucester County community colleges, along with a bachelor of arts degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. 

Sulzbach joined the force after attending the Atlantic County Police Academy and spent eight years in Monroe’s patrol division. He was also part of the township entry team and the New Jersey State Police Digital Technologies Investigations Unit in Trenton. Sulzbach rose to sergeant in the detective bureau and became part of both the major crimes and the internal affairs units and the New Jersey Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. He was offered a position to lead the detective bureau, then was promoted to lieutenant and joined the professional standards unit in 2019. Sulzbach has also been directly responsible for the application process of both sworn and non-sworn employees, policy development and the New Jersey Chiefs of Police Accreditation Process. Becoming deputy chief is the next step in a long line of dedication and hard work.

“I was surprised,” Sulzbach said when asked about his new position. “I am very happy and excited and looking forward to working with craig and keeping this department on the path that it has been on for a while, which is a good one.” 

Both officers look forward to their new positions and are hopeful they can start getting officers back into the community. 

“Especially with the way of the world right now, I believe we have to bring the community back together and be involved,” Monahan noted. “I think we have to get our faces out there. Once we are able to push past COVID-19, I think we will be able to achieve that. 

“We are out there every day for the people, and we want the people to appreciate us and know that they are appreciated.”

Both officers were to be sworn in at the Monroe Township Council meeting on March 22.